The dolphin fountain in front of the Mayor’s office in the center of Fort Dauphin.

Our family is American, French, and Malagasy — originally from the Bronx Zoo.  Three-quarters of that statement are correct, I’ll let you decide which part is false.

 

I am starting this blog as our family ventures into a new phase in our lives that includes setting up shop in my husband’s hometown of Fort Dauphin, Madagascar.  Our plans include building and small eco-tourism business and raising our kids with a sense of independence and freedom that we find difficult to attain in France or the USA.

 

You might also find us riding a few too many airplanes as we haul our kids around the world, visiting family, friends and all the wonderful sites our world offers up.

 

Why Voky Be?

 

My husband and I firmly believe that life should be lived in full. We are full participants in the school of thought that support the idea of wholehearted living, including helping those around us to live fully.

 

In the Malagasy language, voky means “satisfied” and “be” is an adjective that indicates “more” or “very.” We are indeed “very satisfied” to be embarking on this journey.

 

We are also a family of foodies. We love to cook. We like to eat. We take our drink seriously. Our hearts ache for anyone who goes to bed hungry or without access to good food.

 

The Malagasy phrase “voky be” indicates that one is full, as in fully satisfied following a meal.

 

After a delicious Sakafo Gasy (Malagasy meal) you will hear the refrain “voky be!” In Malagasy, it is in fact quite rude to thank your host for good food. The proper thing to do is to explain how well you ate and how full you are…

 

Just in case you feel inclined to switch up the order of these two words, be forewarned that be voky = pregnant! 🤣

 

Drinking champagne in plastic cups, because our champagne flutes are packed in boxes.

Celebration

 

I write this christening post while eating French pizza and drinking French Champagne (the real stuff, mind you) while watching Spain and Portugal play in the World Cup.

 

The real celebration, however, is today marks the last day of my husband’s life as a soldier.

 

Today he retires.

 

Today is the first day of the rest of our lives.

 

Next week we pack up most of our lives and belongings into a container.

 

The following week we will fetch my step-daughter from her mom, take our dog Elvis to his “uncle” while the 5 of us (ages 2, 3, 14, 40 and 41) will head to the USA for 5 weeks.

 

When One Door Closes Many More Open

 

We’ve rented a Dodge Minivan (or similar). We’ll see what we get at the airport. First, we will visit my family in Boulder, Colorado after which we will embark on a what I predict will be a fabulous adventure through the Pacific West Coast and the South West of the US.

 

For some of the time, we will be staying with friends and enjoying the joy of the “retrouvaille” a French word for “lost friends, found again.” For a few nights, such as in Yellowstone, we’ll be staying in your classic Buffalo Bill Road Side In (or a Marriott).

 

And the rest of the nights? I’ve maximized the fact that Airbnb is now nuts. In Montana, we will be glamping in an old school “permanent” Canvas tent with wooden bunks and a wood stove. In LA we’ll be staying in a classic Vintage RV from 1967. In Flagstaff, a luxury RV and in the tiny town of Mancos, CO — a classic wood cabin.

 

The bay in Fort Dauphin Madagascar.

 

We cannot wait for the journey to begin!  

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