Home News Studying and parenting from Madagascar

Studying and parenting from Madagascar

Ten hours ahead and 10,351 miles from Rexburg, Idaho, Safidy Ramiaramanana, a junior majoring in international studies, anxiously waits for the borders of Madagascar to reopen.

At first, Ramiaramanana made the flight to Madagascar to complete an internship, leaving his pregnant wife and two children under 4 years old in Rexburg. On March 20, he asked for his internship to end early in order to go back home.

“They gave me permission to finish early my internship and while I was boarding the airplane, they closed down the border,” Ramiaramanana said. “I was literally shocked. I didn’t know what to say to my wife. Everybody already left, so I had to find a way to go home. It was quite challenging.”

On June 15, the government of Madagascar announced the country will remain closed for the time being. According to covidtracker.com, and as of June 16, Madagascar has 1,317 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 12 deaths.

“We really don’t know what’s going on, but all we can say is that it’s growing every day, and they’re not reopening soon,” said Ramiaramanana.

With the uncertainty surrounding the reopening of Madagascar’s borders, schooling became difficult for Ramiaramanana because of his location’s poor internet connection.

“When I finished my internship and spring semester started, I started taking classes online,” said Ramiaramanana. “But again, some other challenges came up. First of all, I wanted to do the on-campus form of teaching where you log in and do the calls. That doesn’t work for me because of the time. … With everybody staying at home and doing their work from home, the quality of internet connection has dropped drastically. It was horrible for the first three weeks.”

Ramiaramanana dropped all his classes three weeks after the start of the semester. Although he’s hoping to be back in Idaho for the fall semester, if he remains in Madagascar he wants to find a way to take classes and maintain his status as an international student.

Along with his role as a remote student, Ramiaramanana has also been forced to take on the responsibility of a remote parent, while his wife, who lives in Rexburg, takes care of their now three children, aged almost 3, 18 months and one month, who he has only seen over video chat.

Photo Courtesy of Safidy Ramiaramanana
Photo Courtesy of Safidy Ramiaramanana

“My wife is struggling with our kids,” said Ramiaramanana. Although we have people around, it’s hard to take care of them because they’re so young. She’s really the one struggling a lot with that. Basically, I have to call them every single day, morning and evening, because that’s the best time to talk to them with the 10 hour time difference. I mostly call the older kids, cause they know me, and interact with me. Other than that, there’s not really much I can do other than emotional support, and encourage my wife that soon we’ll see the light again.”

Ramiaramanana hopes that he will be reunited with his family, and be able to continue his degree soon. Until then, he waits.

RELATED ARTICLES

Church donates old meetinghouse to Community Food Basket

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has donated an old meetinghouse to Community Food Basket in Idaho Falls.

BYU-I students connect with Rexburg community through an early Christmas celebration

Alli Plummer and Sydney Brustad worked together with the Rexburg Area Chamber of Commerce to bring Christmas early for Rexburg locals.

Trump announces 2024 presidential candidacy

Donald Trump declared he will be running for president in 2024, aiming to be the second commander-in-chief ever re-elected for two non-consecutive terms.

95 COMMENTS

Comments are closed.

Most Popular

Three, two, one … light the tree! Maybe?

Here's what you missed at the campus Christmas event and tree-lighting program on Thursday.

Dalton Parkinson premieres short film ‘Below’ at Senior Showcase

The Communication Department Senior Showcase gave students like Dalton Parkinson the opportunity to demonstrate the growth and talents gained during their time at BYU-Idaho.

BYU-I students feel charity as they understand religious diversity

With the variety of students and backgrounds at BYU-I, Religion 100 offers opportunities for sharing religious beliefs.

Thanksgiving unto the Savior

Thanksgiving is an opportunity for us to grow in our capacity to show gratitude for many things, including our Savior.

Recent Comments