Dorothy Mayne’s Service in Madagascar
Years of Service: 2008-2011
After several months living in my beautiful tropical town in Madagascar, I felt like I hit a wall with learning Malagasy. I could meet all of my basic needs and communicate for work (e.g., shopping, teaching), but I didn’t feel like I was making any new progress. Then, one evening I was talking with my friend, Liza, and our conversation started to go deeper than it normally did. I realized that I was engaged in a conversation about the belief systems of different religions. I told her about my ideas, and I understood her when she told me about her ideas.
When she left, I realized that I had been making serious language progress without realizing it. I could do more than barter for carrots at the market and tell my students about their upcoming quiz– I could express complicated ideas about abstract concepts. After that, I felt more confident in all of my communication in Malagasy and continued to develop.