a lot happened these weeks but i dont really want to talk about it without pictures to break up the blocks of texts... (remember when this was a multimedia experience?) It's getting me down enough I'm gonna suck it up and buy a knock off sinao camera soon (it helps the Ahlstrom also had his camera stolen and wants a new one too)
Luckily i can still cajole others into giving me pictures
So Horspool is officially in a better place despite some visa issues and now its just me and TAhlstrom running Betongolo. It's actually been really cool showing Ahlstrom around, i didnt realize i knew the area as well as i did. It makes you feel real cool when you know little short cuts and exactly when to cross a rice paddy or how to scale a garbage wall. According to Ahlstrom Tana is nothing like Toamasina (where he's been serving) where everything is flat desert. I'm glad i get to serve here and not in Toamasina, its been overcast over Tana for almost a week straight and I even got to wear a sweater(!) the other day. Also i like the feeling of living in a smelly jungle gym i have to traverse to do little things like buy eggs.
Anyways, here's some farewell shots Horse took with these families we know.
The first family is Soeur Helen's, theyre all super cool. They have us over for soiree's every monday night so needless to say they are very precious to us. Also pictured is the Betongolo sister missionaries, Soeur Stewart and Amoussouga.This was also Soeur Stewart's farewell picture, she went home right after this was taken. Her hair was usually more... restrained.
Second family is Soeur Tinamora's. All the kids are members, and she is essentially member but hasnt been baptized yet. She goes to church and knows everything and is awesome in general but her husband is a complete bum. there's a rule that you cant get baptized unless youre legally married but her husband refuses to break his family's fomba, which fomba is "never get married and spend most/all of your paycheck on alcohol". But its okay though cause she and all her kids are awesome
Hey, just so you all know if you want to ask me questions or anything please do, I'd love to answer. the email address is on the sidebar for a reason
Also, in lieu of pictures ive attached a segment from our weekly mission newletter to this post because i want y'all to be able to see the images from a recent project our Humanitarian Leaders, Elder and Sister Asay headed. its pretty cool, they were able to to distribute a lot of rice and building materials to outlying villages hit by tropical storm Chedza and a general even spoke at the event which is a pretty big deal (His name... Charles...) Also, funny story, because they were transporting a lot of goods through the Dahalo-infested country side (Dahalo: the main enemy of the Malagasy government, organized cattle hustlers with machetes and AK-47s that run around the more outskirt-y portions of the 'gascar. my comp says in Toamasina sometimes the dahalo would send an alert to the city saying they were coming in a week and if they didnt gather their cattle together and hand them over theyd start killing people. but instead the citizens would gather their machetes and wait at the town hall and then they and the dahalo would go at it. The government sometimes hunts them in helicopters), the Humanitarian had to hire armed guards to get out there. Well, actually the government helped provide. But the Malagasy government is as such that for some reason Elder and Sister Asay had to get a form signed and then drive to the airport to pick up their guards guns? We're still scratching our heads on that one over here.
I'll wrap up with two stories about... well you'll see. so on the way to the bus the other day i saw a dad bent over his three-ish year old son. The dad was holding his pants down and pointing his dangling participle so his son could more easily pee into our heavily trafficked street. and when i saw this the only thought that entered my head was "wow, what a good dad." and that was when i realized Madagascar had changed me. Then later that same day a drunk guy stopped right in the middle of a fairly nice path we were walking down, dropped his fly and just relieved himself on the pavement in front of us. When he looked up from his work and saw we were white, he smiled and send in heavily accented English "Welcome to Madagascar!" I think that about sums it up.