May 30, 2011
Guest Blogger: Randy
On Wednesday, May 18 AMI (Anglican Music Institute) had a big day. On this day four of our students had the opportunity to sing in the best concert hall in Madagascar for the general public. Now the best concert hall in Madagascar is probably about as nice as the concert hall at your local community college. But this place still had a stage, dressing rooms, and comfy movie theater type seats. A group of music lovers in town (some foreigners and some Malagasies) sponsor free lunch time concerts on Wednesday afternoons. They bring the best professional musicians that they can find so people in the center of the capital city can take 45 minutes off of work and listen to some music. One of our students was so nervous about singing for this event that she said she didn't sleep or eat properly for a week.
Accompanying the students on piano were myself and two other missionary teachers. I had it easy as I was only playing for one song. But we practiced many hours for this concert. On the morning of the concert we went into town early and practiced again in the venue, the French Cultural Center. Then we had some time for lunch and then the concert. The doors were set to close at 12:55 but by 12:45 every seat was filled and there was only standing room left. The concert went very well.
Now on Wednesay afternoons myself and the two other accompanists are supposed to be teaching children's piano lessons from 1 until 6 pm. For this concert we had rearranged a few lessons and we had until 2:30 to get back to teach the rest of our students. So, considering I had to be at the concert hall early and had to go back to AMI and teach for several hours I had decided to not wear my suit but to change at the concert hall. It's not like I had to ride the taxi be. Someone drove me to the concert and then back to AMI and then even home at night. I just carried my suit on a hanger.
We didn't quite make it back to AMI by 2:30 but the afternoon continued fine and finally I went home. After dinner and all I was finally going to bed and realized my wallet was not in my pants pocket where it always is. After a quick moment of “my wallet is lost” I remembered that I had decided to put my wallet in my suit pants pocket during the concert so it would not get stolen from the dressing room during the concert. So, I grabbed the hanger with the suit coat and suddenly had a different moment – the one of “my pants are missing?” They were not on the hanger like they should be. And of course my wallet was in those pants. I quick grabbed the flashlight and ran up our road thinking they might have fallen off the hanger as I was coming home in the dark – nothing. I called the two people who had given me a ride in case they fell off in their cars – nothing. I called another teacher who lives at AMI – the pants weren't there either. And, long-story-a-little-shorter, no, they were not at the French cultural center either – at least according to the people we called.
So, over the next few days I worked out cancelling all my credit cards, etc – which turned out not to be as bad as I thought. And as a thank you gift for accompanying them the students from the concert bought me a very nice crocodile skin wallet. But a few days later I suddenly realized I now had no suit to wear at our upcoming graduation concert where I again needed to accompany. And here is where the love is. At first I was able to borrow a pair of dress pants. I could have bought a new suit or even just pants, but I only had one week and that sort of shopping for a tall person is a big hassle here. So instead I called the two tall men I knew here who had a similar size waist and got pants from one of them. But shortly after I borrowed the pants JungAh, the wife of AMI's director, told me she had two suits I could try. Her brother had given them to her for her son, but they did not fit him. When I tried them on they fit almost perfectly. JungAh said I could choose one and keep it! And they were not just any suits, but really nice Italian suits. Thank you generous friends! So, if you see me in the future in a really nice black suit, just remember my Father loves me....oh, and He loves all His children just as perfectly.