Reaching out across the world.

Posted in travel, World by collinevan on June 27, 2007

I’m flexing my ambition muscles today. I’ve got a project that I developed a long time ago, but couldn’t find the resources to make it happen. I’m back on it and getting some stuff done. This could be big!

Project: Go back to Madagascar and help preserve their cultural history by collecting oral histories and folklore. In return we’ll take them and publish them to be taught in schools.

Purpose: There’s a 2 fold goal with this. First is to promote nationalism. Madagascar is a country struggling more and more to find its identity. This is due to the fact that they suffered under a corrupt government for over 2 decades. Mentally, many Malagasys don’t even aspire to change, because changing the destitute means that thing could get better but they could also get worse. The second goal is to preserve the native language through documenting these histories across the 18 different tribes of Mada.

The deal is that we want to get enough funding through any viable sources to take out a couple of speakers, a native, a camera man and some gear. We’ll record all the work we do and hopefully put together a documentary. National Geographic happens to be currently working on a language preservation program, so they may be a good one. I’ll have to dig a bit deeper.

I just think about growing up in the United States and how a lot of my education was about the U.S. I think people tend to feel proud of a country when they learn about how it came to be. So, by doing the same for Madagascar, I think we can help bring a stronger sense of appreciation for their own values in a world that tries more and more to homogenize.



I needed an excuse to put this video up.

Posted in Life, Video by collinevan on June 22, 2007

This new job I am working on is a crazy find for me. It consists of me landing an opportunity doing marketing for a large company when I haven’t even graduated with my undergrad degree. Is it to their own demise, or will I change things for mankind? Stay tuned to this rediculously dramatic chipmunk for the suspense!

Not for all the love in the world

Posted in Uncategorized by collinevan on June 20, 2007

… would I do this.

A friend of mine of Facebook posted this but only the elite few of his friends saw it.

These guys basically have to say the tongue twister in a certain amount of time or else. Hmm.. sad.

Banga Nify or Fafuti

Posted in travel by collinevan on June 19, 2007

Which is Malagasy for “toothless”.

I don’t know if I was the only kid who hated brushing his teeth, but my family made fun of me for it. Funny enough I have shining pearly off-whites today that I’ve been complimented on. Most people don’t know my grim dentistry history though.

When I was 12 I went to Greece with my Uncle Tony and Aunt Kathie. Tony is pretty much full-blooded Greek, so he got us around real nice. It was also my first world travel experience, so I’m glad I got it done young. As the typical boxed-in American type, I really looked like a fool who was struck with wonder when I got there. I won’t get into the stories about Sand Dunes or whatnot, but needless to say I was pretty alien to my surroundings.

My Uncle is a bit of a heckler, and found out I didn’t brush much. He started calling me “Fafuti” (or however it’s spelled). Apparently it means “toothless old lady”. Being short like I am, I bottled up a bit of resentment because I didn’t like taking heat for my short comings.

We got to Athens and quickly met up with some of Uncle Tony’s family members out there. It wasn’t what I imagined to be the raddest way to rock our vacation, but I was along for the ride.  After staying for a bit I really started paying attention to all the greek that was being thrown around. While rudely rejecting the raw octopus tentacle that was being offered me I heard my uncle say something like “blah blah blah fafuti blah blah Collin, AHAHAHAHA!”. Yeah, he was telling everyone there that I was fafuti.

The trip carried on and I became known as fafuti to basically everyone we met there.

Well I ended up becoming a bit of a traveler. I’ve been all kinds of places. Madagascar became the most unique of my destinations in every aspect.  What was the first thing I really noticed in the people?


I realized I wasn’t the only fafuti around. I found out that fafuti in Malagasy was “banga nify”. Yeah, I brush my teeth now. I do it every day in fact. But after I saw that there were other people in this world that were fafuti, or banga nify, I suddenly wanted to be known by my old title again.

I guess I should have realized that my trip to Greece was preparing me more for world travel than I knew.

Hello world!

Posted in Uncategorized by collinevan on June 19, 2007

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