Being Thankful.

 

• Faux Cap, Southern Madagascar •

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!

💙

Simple Moments.

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. 

ambarofamilyl

The Harvest.

Ambaro, Madagascar

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…

Phoebe Chi Madagascar

…the entire family worked very hard.

◊ A poem about this family ◊

Holiday Across the Globe.

• Mahantantely, Madagascar •

Through my time spent abroad during the holiday seasons, I noticed something:
That despite our dissimilar lives, cultures, appearances, beliefs…
one thing never changes:

our love and compassion for one another. 

Ghana_phoebe_chi.JPG

• Takoradi, Ghana •

Wishing everyone much love this December. 

💛

Ambaro.

Within arid depths of a land below
abides the humble village of l’Ambaro.

A world where clothing is prized but threadbare;
a world where meals are luxuries proved rare.

A world where days with famine are fraught;
a world the remaining earth long forgot.

But this is a place where
pure are the hearts,
simple are the joys,
the love of each part.

Where drums hum daily
their languid song,
enchanting the children
all the day long.

Where families dance into
the hallowed night,
merriment echoing
under faint moonlight.

Where sand curls freely
about their feet,
naked, synchronized,
stomped to each beat.

Until finally twilight
snatches the hills,
descending upon them
a shuddering chill.

Then filled with cheer
they part by the number
into their huts to
unite in deep slumber.

This is the place the world left behind–
a place that will always be in the back of my mind.

•      •      •

ambaro

 My host village of Ambaro, Southern Madagascar

The Story of PuppyDoc.

Once upon a time in a land far away (ie., Taiwan), there existed a smallish girl named Phoebe…

 phoebe chi

…who, in the 1980’s, was born into a family…complete with a mom, a dad, and a pet gibbon.

gibbon.jpg

From an early age, Phoebe adored animals, therefore, when she grew up and went to university, she decided to become a purple kangaroo for the patients at the children’s hospital.

 kangaroo

Phoebe soon realized something: she loved to help people. Eventually, this realization led her to start traveling the world, for long periods of time, to do volunteer work.

Of all the places, Phoebe worked in Africa the longest…namely, in the lands of West Africa and Madagascar.

On the island of Madagascar, Phoebe was known for befriending a lonely stray lemur named Buddy…

 lemur

…with whom she would share her cactus fruit every morning.

There, she lived in a small village with a sweet family of 20 vibrant sisters…all of whom liked to dance.

Phoebe Chi Madagascar

On the other side of the continent, in the land of Ghana, she also lived with a lovely family, but in lieu of a lemur, she had a goat friend (who, tragically, eventually got eaten…).

goat

After all that, Phoebe returned to the U.S. and became a doctor, because more than anything…she still wanted to help people.

thankyou.jpg

Now, during her journey through medical school, her peers started to call her ‘Puppy,’ primarily, they claimed, because of her “loyal, affectionate, and loving nature.”

Gradually, the name ‘Puppy’ evolved until, finally, one day…

Phoebe Chi

…a ‘PuppyDoc‘ was born.

The End.

 

 

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