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....


  1. Awww Meg ... that is one of the hardest parts of life in Africa and something we hope to make a difference with when we go back ... humanitarian relief and community development. Great description of exactly what it is like. You will make the difference in the lives of those few the Lord puts in your path. That's what it is all about. Try not to get too overwhelmed. Love you!

  2. Your love of Christ and your love of the people will show through. It doesn't make sense sometimes why some have and some have not, but it will all be revealed someday. Thank goodness for people like you who hear and answer God's call for help. Bless You. Hang in there!

  3. Megan,
    Can I get you to be a roving reporter for my garden blog? Anything you encounter that you might like to tell me and my/your readers about relating to the "growing world" would be great. I know you are aware of the unique varities of orchids that thrive there. Who knows but that there are lots of other plants that you will encounter. This morning, it occurred to me that the honey industry there might be organized very differently than it is here. I am sure it would be a treat to taste some of the locally produced honey, and to learn the local techniques for managing bees. Anyway, this was a thought. No doubt you are having all manner of adventure, without any ideas for new ones coming from me. Continued best wishes to you Randy, Seth and Cole!
    Everett, John and Jasper