Rainy season

March 6: First day of mountain village clinics. 170 patients. I am now a sort of trained pharmacy tech. Since none of you kids would fulfill mother's dream of a pharmacist she will have to put up my work :) I read the doctor's handwriting, filled plastic bags with 21 iboprofen or 21 Amoxicillan, etc. We started out at 8 and got home about 5. I am told this is a short day …

I mix practicing Malagasy on the assistants. There are a couple of Malagasy doctors as well as one American (Carla) from Illinois around belleville. There are several students – business students, a medical student, and a nurse from the hospital here. There English varies but is better than my Malagasy. We form a good team processing people through with appropriate speed.

I will ask about a word in Malagasy (we keep getting tripped up over my Tanosy – my southern dialect – as well as my very limited vocabulary. Then I would ask something in English, I figure giving them practice in English is part of my payment to them for their help.

It is rainy season. Not a steady rain but some rain during the day, usually some at night. The rice fields are mostly very green, although the lowest ones are flooded and can't be planted yet. We are in the highlands of Madagascar, so on all sides are hills – mostly green but bare of trees. Often they are terraced quite high on the hill.

I met the president of the Antsirabe synod (we would say district) and the ex-president of the Fianarantsoa seminary – both named Joseph. Dedicated men both of them. The ex-president is from my home country (Anosy) and is sending his son to Concordia STL. They welcomed me as well as the others in the medical mession.

Just heard a rooster crow – I love it!