Taken around Thanksgiving time, these girls were part of the dear family I lived with during my time in Madagascar. Although they didn’t seem to have a lot, they were always joyful and thankful, and seeing this photo reminds me again that we should not be any different.
Wishing everyone in the States a wonderful Thanksgiving week!
Meet little Mialy, Mia, and their father…known simply as Baba. They—along with 15 other siblings—made up my host family during a time spent in the arid region of southern Madagascar, where I was doing research on the Antandroy communities.
I often think back to this family with bittersweet fondness. When I was there, I was profoundly inspired by their love for life and their appreciation of the simple joys it brings…while endlessly cheered by their wide grins and generous laughter.
But now, when I glance at this photo, their visage seems to reveal a truth much deeper…and my heart aches a little.
Nevertheless, the sound of their laughter will remain with me forever, and I am thankful to have met them…and grateful for the lessons they taught me in treasuring the simple moments in life.
• Our village specialized in ‘bageda’…sweet potatoes. After harvesting, we would bring them to the market and trade them for maize. Although only Hanitra and Puppydoc are pictured above…
• On my first day of walking to work at the hospital,
I met a group of children who would end up becoming my daily escorts.
This was a moment captured while the vigilant residents
inspected my suspicious-looking digital device.
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