Monday, December 1, 2014

Betongolo Week 3, or, We'd Love For You To Join The Church But You're Going To Have To Stop Practicing Black Magic First

Introducing a new segment, which will hopefully continue on infinitely past this week and become a ray. (Geometry jokes! Thats the reason you read my blog!) 


What I meant: I asked God for answers many times.
What I said: I asked God for easy sugar cane.

What I meant: My name is Elder McCrary (in a malagasy accent)
What I said: My name is Elder Prostitute

Okay enough of that garbage lets get to the real blog. oh no wait, actually another caveat needs to come first (caveats and geometry in one day!)

I wrote a little flippantly last week, mostly cause i think its more fun to write and more fun to read. but in retrospect i decided i needed to make some things clear. The last thing i want to do here is make it out like Malagasies or Madagascar is some uncivilized, unlivable people or place. It isn't. There's a lot of conditions here that are way different from america and i'm still getting used to it, but i love it here and i love the people. I'm also perfectly safe, were well taken care of here. there are serious diseases here but even though they exist it doesn't mean they're prevalent. there's an extremely low chance of anyone here getting malaria or black plague, and 0% for me because I'm medicated. as for the guy that hit me, don't worry about that either, I'm completely unhurt, it was even a punch or anything, he just slapped me cause he got a little over excited.  I mostly write in a way to entertain or make some point, but i realize because I'm in a place so far removed from a lot of you guys its my responsibility to represent it truthfully. So the truth is that yes, Mada is a developing country, but the people are insanely kind and welcoming. i can knock on almost any door and just get invited in and possibly even served some rice.  Its true that there's no traffic laws, but people here also don't drive like Americans. they're considerate of everyone on the road and its easy to stay safe.  I have enough money to clean my food and filter my water so i'm (mostly) well and in no actual health danger. Violent crime is virtually non-existent here, the only really sad thing is the prevalence of alcoholism and domestic violence. But please, please don't let that reflect on your impression of Malagasies,its due to a lack of institutions and awareness for those issues, not the people. Its actually been really inspiring to work within the church, because they're one of the few organizations here doing anything to to fight against alcoholism and domestic violence. I'm sorry if i caused any of you to worry about me or get a negative impression or this place, trust me, it beautiful and amazing and an awesome place to get to live in. 

On the other hand though, I frequently almost fall into the gaping sewer pits that periodically dot the streets, so you gotta watch out for those. especially at night. 

I think its about time for pictures, dont you? 

I want to move away from these PLS shots and get pictures of actual people, but i havent figured out a casual way to stop a stranger on the street, tell him his 90s windbreaker is fierce and ask for his picture. Similarly, i dont know a non creepy way to ask parents if i can take a picture of their adorable kid. im working on it though, hopefully soon this blog will feature real people.  But going back to 90s windbreakers here, this whole nation is constantly on point. Clothes are mostly sold street side (everything is mostly sold street side, theres  whole street where people just sell bedframes and i saw a guy walking around selling toilet plungers yesterday) and i think the clothes mostly come from what america doesnt sell. Essentially the nations entire wardrobe is thrift shop ware, and the results are just as awesome as that sounds. I get to see 60 year old guys rocking denim on denim every day. also yesterday an investigator came to church wearing a white shirt and tie, both of which were embroidered with Chinese dragons. Gorgeous. (BTW, the word for Chinese here is Schnoo {thats not how its spelled, thats how it sounds} and that is definitely the superior way to refer to East Asians)

One last note on clothes: i saw a guy yesterday wearing an Olentangy Liberty High School sweatshirt the other day! what are the odds!? I wanted to get his picture so bad but he looked really grumpy so i was too nervous to talk to him. Also frankly i was intimidated. But then he walked past me and his head reached up to about nipple height. That happens a lot here. You see a guy whos a head above everyone else and think "i dont wanna make him angry" and then you remember hes like 5'6"

Actual picture of me coming down the streets of Tana

Something about malagasy newspaper comics really speak to me. By the way, i read this paper while Horspool got his hair cut. barbers here have in a 7ft by 7ft by 7ft tin shack and always cut your hair to look like Drake (NOTE: not Drake Bell)

Things Malagasies need to stop: carrying backpacks with working shoulder straps on their heads. also pretending like mangoes are good fruit. theyre not, in fact theyre almost objectively the worst. and the juice they make from it is even crummier. They have so many awesome fruits here and yet somehow theyre still pretending mangoes are edible. Corossol juice is way better, and lychees are absolutely amazing. i might upload a video of one cause you kind of have to see them to believe them, they look like something out of Super Mario Sunshine.

This entry felt disorganized but ill blame it on the parasitic brain eating worms that are almost surely inside me by now. Those are real here btw

Have some belated pictures of skymall magazine, certainly the best part of international travel

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