Wednesday, August 18, 2010

beautiful memories

So my 1st blog entry didn't come up on the blog for some reason. Sorry to start off my blog with such a sad picture.  The Malagasy people here are beautiful people both in aperance and spirit.  Here is a little story that should bring a smile to your face.  This happened last Sunday.

Went to Tana City Church today. Left at 8:30 to get to the church by 10:00. It's only about 5 miles from our house. It's a 2 mile (about) walk to reach the taxi-be. Then the fight begins! Especially around 8:00-9:00am. You usually can't get on the first several taxi-bes due to all the people runnign to get on them. So even though it only takes 5 minutes to get to the church from the bus stop you sometimes can't get onto a bus for 10-20 minutes! There are so many people fighting to get on. And I literally mean FIGHTINHG! I told Randy to follow me that this “faza” means business! I came hear to learn Malagasy so I was going to get a taxi-be like a Malagasy! I ran up to the taxi-be and another woman came right beside me and gave me the ol' hip action to push me out of the way. “Oh, no she didn't” I thought to myself. “Ok lady, you're going to see how a 'faza' who means business gets on a taxi-be!” I “hipped” her right back and pulled randy and the boys on. We got somewhat separated and the drivers helper wasn't going to let randy and Cole on. I shook my head at him with a “Not today buddy, my husband's coming on with me” and I was so far up front by that time ( pushed by the sea of people in the taxi-be) that the driver's helper gave in and let Randy and Cole stand in the back! Ahhhh, VICTORY IS MINE!!!

We arrived at the church early as it didn't take as long to get a taxi-be as we thought this morning. It was a nice service. It was in English, which is very helpful:). The worship was that of worship in a “hilsong” style-standard mega-church contemporary worship. The boys and I dismissed after singing to attend the children's church. They were quite nervous at first but ended up talking and singing with the other children. After church a few of the short termers came back to our house for lunch. We stopped at the grocery story and open market 1st to buy some food then came back to the house and cooked together. It was lovely. Spent the afternoon playing baseball and soccer with the neighborhood children. We had a great time with them!

Monday, August 16, 2010

August 14, 2010

Gwang su and Jung ha took us into Tana city today. (they are the Korean missionaries who work at AMI with Randy). People EVERYWHERE!! They took us to the market. Sensory overload! Sellers harrasing you on every side trying to get you to buy their items. Beautiful pyramids of bright oranges, big yellow bananas, small yellow bananas, green passion fruits and orange carrots. Fresh fruits and vegetables at every turn. You turn the corner and there before you is every part of a cow you can imagine. You can smell it before you even see it. Oh, and I mustn't forget to mention the skinned frogs, fish, and piles....that's right....piles of cow tongues on the counters. Turn the corner again and it's crafts of many kinds. Purses, bags, carvings, slippers, notebooks, it's like a poor rundown outside walmart with prices jacked high if your a “faza” (white person) and reasonable if you are Malagasy. You mustn't ever take the first price they give you but barter for everything. Kind of hard to do when the only words you know in Malagasy are “Hello, I've just arrived here in Madagascar. I've come to learn Malagasy and Malagasy culture. My name is Megan. What's your name. Where's the bread?” I'll be learning some more phrases that will better suit market bargaining with my language helper this week!

Finally get out of the endless sea of people and get back into the van to enter into the endless sea of people in the streets. At every stop beggars approach the car, usually children, and ask for money. I look out the window and there is a little girl pushing another little girl, who is physically handicapped, in a rickety old “wheel chair”. Both of them hands out, palms up, waving their fingers back and forth gesturing for hand outs. Their eyes speaking louder than any words could speak as they look right into the depth of your soul silently asking, “please give us anything that would make our lives a little easier today.” The world around me gets blurry as tears start to spill over onto my cheeks. I turn my face away from one window only to see a poor blind beggar being led by a child tapping on the window asking for money. It's best not to give money to children because, if you watch closely, they are being followed by a man. Once the child receives the money they go and give it all to the man and the child scarcely gets enough food, just enough for enough energy to continue begging the next day to make the man more money. Giving into complete remorse I burry my head into the shoulder of a friend next to me.

We stopped at a beautiful overlook of the city of Tana. I stayed in the van with the door open and car running as others got out to take pictures. Of course, there were children begging who came to the open door. I gave away some of our bananas. I couldn't do that earlier in the streets as we were driving because the back windows couldn't roll down. At lease a few children wont die from hunger today....