[sam-ba-chra] blessed to be happy|happy to be blessed

1st Retreat Afterthoughts : Reflections on Power and Privilege

Karis in Madagascar

After a full day of riding the taxi-brousse (public bus), the Mada-Gar 7-Ups rendezvoused in the capital for 1st retreat. We would be together for a week of relaxation, story telling, tourism, and good old American fun. Throughout our retreat, we were spoiled with hot showers, real mattresses (instead of the typical Malagasy foam), pancake breakfasts, reliable appliances, and unlimited supplies of peanut butter. We reveled in the beauty of the Malagasy rainforest, gazed spellbound at wild lemurs jumping effortlessly between trees, and swam at a secluded waterfall. We laughed together about the silly things that only happen in Madagascar. We cried together about experiences we have never shared with anyone else, or at least anyone who would truly understand. We spoke fluent English (!) and escaped from the ever-present language barrier. We savored unique flavors from around the island: mangoes from Mahajanga, letches from Manakara, pineapple from Ft…

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