The Symphony of the Living

Movement I I feel cold, Antonia says and for a quick second I catch a glow on her face. It was a bit of a chilly day, and I too, felt a bit chilly. A wave of confusion took me, and I let it be- unsure how to connect the sense of pride radiating out…

The Word is Regret

Today’s post is inspired by and written in style of “My Name is Red” by Orhan Pamuk THEY CALL ME GREEN BEANS My eyes narrow imperceptibly whenever I am called that; a self-satisfying reflex. You’ve caught me on a Tuesday. Tuesdays are market days here, making it the one weekly occasion that the 3,000 residents…

Year 23’s Enormous Impact

Just had my birthday and it was absolutely wonderful! Thanks to all that made it so special. I was trying to contemplate Year 23 and what it may mean for Year 24 as I was waiting for a bus, but as the hours passed by I only found myself periodically buying snacks or potatoes. So…

You can’t farm with your arms crossed

The best analogy I can give to training farmers on improved rice farming techniques is as follows. A Nebraskan goes to New York City and tries to tell as many people as she can that scientists have analytically shown that Chicago-style deep dish pizza is the most delicious pizza in the world. What’s the nicest…

10 meters

You see her as she is walking to her bed. Passing a bamboo basket with a single mango and lime, she notices just a second before you do the hole chewed through the lid. “Fucking rats” she says to no one in particular. She momentarily considers getting rid of all her possessions in anticipation of…

A trophy for your participation…

Sorry in advance: I don’t currently have a strong enough internet connection to upload photos so I will add them soon! It is one thing to go into something not knowing at all what to expect; it is another to have a plan and then change it- and it is a whole other to step barefoot…

Hyper-realistic fake food

In the house– my left-hand pressed palm-up on the table while my right hand gripping onto the opposite forearm, stabilizing. Pushing lightly on each other, seven others are squirming to get closer to the gas-lamp lit scene. Joseline stands up from the wood-fed stove and carefully walks towards me with a steaming cloth full of…

Location, location, location

Sometimes it seems impossible to really know where you are, I think as I stare at the map. I have been sitting on my large woven mat for the last thirty minutes staring at a world map lit by candle light and perfumed by a lavender-scented anti-mosquito coil. I burn it in part to deter…

15 minutes

Oh what? We’re leaving? I, uh, haven’t had enough time to tell myself that I can do this. Teeth aren’t brushed, coffee is un-had, crap. What ever happened to this idea that everything runs a little late in Madagascar? They are 15 minutes early! Those are the 15 minutes I was going to get it…

Sorry, can you repeat that?

Me: Still good? Person: Still good! Me: What’s new? Person: Nothing’s new. What’s loud? Me: Ah, always quiet. Person: Where are you coming from? Me: Coming from the rice fields. Person: Whose? Me: Over there. *points with lips westwards Person: Whose? Me: Oh.. Mama Feno’s. If you’re wondering about perhaps the most consistent thing in…

Step, hop, jump!

Dear reader, This blog is mainly for friends and family; but just in case you’re just joining me now, I better introduce myself. My name is Alyssa Brodsky, know to many as Alyssa. You should know that I am currently in the honey-moon phase with the dairy world, and I am milkin’ it for what…