Wednesday, January 21, 2015

You Can Take the Boy Out of the South(ern Portion of New England)

I hope you all are excited to read the title of this blog every week cause frankly thats my favorite part to write. todays was originally going to be Cynical Cyril Cyrus the Cyclopsian Cyclone Cyclist but then i realized the only part that was relevant was the 'cyclone' and i was being altogether too pleased with myself.

Oh yeah, we had a cyclone this week.

Picture of some of the cyclone damage. Its pretty sad, cause i was having the time of my life during it, all the rain and wind made it so it was actually a bearable temperature and i was saying "I hope there's a cyclone every week!" but then afterwards i started noticing all the damage it did. Mortar, if people even use it (which they often dont) is very weak around here and gets eroded in the cyclone. stones walls were falling down all around the city, and i heard five people died, crushed under a brick wall their house was under. Use quality mortar when building your houses, my friends.

So theres this restaurant (named SNACK in all caps and its actually pretty high class, i love this country) me and Elder Horspool go to sometimes and it has a tv that plays music videos. we've seen some pretty amazing things on the tv, him and I, but by far my favorites are these two malagasy pop songs that play once in a blue moon between all the club music called "Vavaka" and "Missionera". Literally about how a guy likes praying and these ladies appreciate the work missionaries do, respectively. And theyre both filmed on a shoestring budget, i honestly think with a handcam. so malagasy. 

But even more important than those two songs is that the other day in SNACK we saw our recent convert Frederick and his friend Medisse (who's currently serving a mission in South Africa) on the TV rapping away in their latest single. I didnt realize quite how big FIFTYderic and Hegrem (yes those are their names) were in madagascar.

OH I JUST FOUND THE VIDEO "My Last Chance" Hegrem FEAT Fiftyderic

On the right: my recent convert <3 the others are gasy rappers i havent met yet

 did i mention that frederics other job is that he teaches English? I love this guy.

Have some chameleon pictures and PLS shots

Also continuing to take pictures of tana paths, i love these. I'll call em RBL shots (Ratsy be ny lalana!)

I was remiss that i did not take a picture of these awesome sandals i saw the other day, i heard theyre pretty common but this was the first time i noticed them, theyre made out of worn out car tires and are super cheap and last forever. i think ill buy a pair.

Ugly story time, somebody left some towels on our apartment balcony during transfers unknown ages ago and theyve been festering ever since. the other day they sprouted some hefty toadstools and me and Horspool decided enough was enough and threw em out. But not before taking this pic,(i dont know if you can tell but thats like a six inch tall shroom that just appeared overnight. Fungi are amazing)

Interesting Gasy Fax: a ton of words in malagasy are just gasy-sized french but sometimes theyll invent or have prexisting words completely from malagasy for the same thing (teny gasy be) amd they can get kind of weird. for example pomegranate in teny gasy be is "Apongo Be Lanitra"  literally "Big Drum of Heaven" (or maybe "Heavenly Drum of Bigness" depending on your translator)

Speaking of language, heres a quick pic of our English class super stars. We teach a free English class ever week at the church as part of our service. The guy in the Scorpions tank is named Urban and the girl is Seheno (seh-hay-noo). Both are tena mahay be and probably teach more english than i do, cause I'm still struggling a little bit with malagasy (not personally, im just still new) and so its a little hard to teach sometimes. I mostly just help people with pronunciation 
and teach very basic things to the beginners.

Unfortunately also not pictured was this experience i had yesterday where a big ol' cow (hereafter referred to as an omby cause i cant stand saying cow anymore) got loose in the middle of the street. it held up a bunch of bus traffic and was creating quite spectacle, there was a whole crowd ringed around the wranglers trying to rope the thing again. and every time it would charge or try to gore one of the wranglers all the people (who were at least 3 yards away) would squeal and run away for like half a mile. i kinda think the onlookers were just using like a haunted house to get themselves worked up. but it was pretty crazy. I've always thought ombys are weirdly large for how little we think of them, just cause theyre (usually) so docile. But its a heck of a lot of animal, especially when youre standing right next to it. And it has 2 foot long devil horns. 

Some members in the Betongolo ward! These ladies are all extremely nice and have us over for soirees all the time. Left to right, Soeur Soa, Evette, and Tinamora. Sr Evette's even fed us a couple times, some really good rice and loaka and some katsaka (which is literally just a lot of corn floating in sugar water and i did not like as much).  I'm still laughing at how french for sister is pronounced "sir" btw.

ALSO you might notice that just recently google has finally come out with a malagasy function for google translate. its.. not very good but it just came out so i expect it will grow mightily. Point is i will probably start tossing out more malagasy words knowing you can go to uncle google to learn a little bit. Also because its becoming harder and harder for me to talk in just English. 

Lastly, and most importantly


This baby's been like six weeks in the making, took a lot of P-day time and planning. I had to argue with the lambahoany seller for like fifteen minutes to let me buy floral patterned cream satin for the back of the vest because he was convinced it was only for women. Metrosexual discrimination, that's whats holding back the malagasy economy. 

and let's not forget Horse's suit (digging the third pocket)

I also had a silversmith member of one of our wards make me a ring. Silvers actually more expensive here than in america but the labor and brand costs are low and non-existant, respectively. The ring is a CTR ring which i admit is pretty basic mormon garbage, but hopefully that fact that its in malagasy (Fidio ny Tsara btw) and made by hand by a guy who also raises chickens makes up for that. 
So thats it for now. Mada's really starting to feel like home, I'm not sure i can go back to a country without akoho sauce or grenadelle jus. Getting to the point where I can really enjoy speaking gasy too. But dont think I've forgotten any of you guys and your blurry, quickly evaporating faces. Love you guy(s?)

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