Big news! My parents went to Hawaii recently! for those of you unfamiliar with Hawaii, its like Madagascar with less garbage and more roads. Equivalent number of Rastamen.
Lets start it up with some pics of malagasy stuff
Money, all the bills. the 10000 Ariary bill is a lie, there are no motorized construction crews in Mada. I like the cow on the on the 500 Ar though. Btw, last i checked the 10000 Ar was worth about 3.30 USD
look at this "CD-Rom Holder"
In the same vein, check this cyber cafe, whose whole theme was "Jokerman font".
Also note that they handpainted those google and Youtube logos, trademarks included. "Yes, we get the internet with Youtube"
ive held off on taking picture of food fopr this long, i hope youre proud of me. So please forgive me for three pictures of rice
so now yall know what i eat every day. first pic is from a soiree at a members house, the dish is tsaramaso (literally good eye), an eye shaped bean and sauce made from it put on top of rice. second is from a fancy restaurant (with fancy rice), the dish is Bol Renverse, a thing where they put a bunch of souce veggies and meat in a bowl on top of an egg, plus a bunch of rice and cook it. then they flip it ove and serv it to you, bowl upside down, get it?
the last pic is what my meals typically look like, were eating at a hotely (essentially a low class restaurant). this plmate of rice cost 2500 Ar, the bol renverse cost 8000Ar, and the taramaso probably cost about 1000, to give you a sense of the range. from the top of the picture, left to right: sakay(very hot mashed up peppers and seeds), rano-pango (rice water, good when its dark and hot), rony(the broth), (second row) vary(the almighty rice), and the loaka(the stuff you put on rice): henomby ritra (literally dried cow meat). its good, trust me
Sometimes though, i just play it up real french and munch a big gas croissant (a large croissant from the bakery near the gas station, what did you think i meant)
by the way, heres some pics of me and elder garcias waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too nice house
let me explain
we live a super nice building, beacause the churchs policy is if it can provide you with electrcity and running water it will. only the nicest homes do that here. also, due to a high dropout rate here and a general reluctance for some reson i dont understand to send missionaries here (especially new ones from 1st world countries) we are waay understocked on missionaries, theres suppossed to be like 120 here but we have less than 80. so we live in a house meant for 2 or 3 companionships but right now its just me and Garcia. Our living conditions are obviously great, but the power still goes out all the time and the appliances are chinese knockoffs.
to illustrate how insane the difference between living conditions of classes of people
in Mada, examine this picture. there are two houses in it.
But lets not talk about that, lets talk about
the sick double baptism that happened last week! Their names are Suzy and Daniel, Elder Garcia baptized Daniel and i baptized Suzy.
Suzy is awesome, she just has so much faith. Shes the only member in her family but i swear shes at the church all day every day, i think she goes to every activity. Shes also like 1000% Vezo, this western tribe that ives near Toamasina, the city where Elder Ahlstrom orked for 6 months. So she speaks teny vezo, an abosutely crazy dialect im having her teach me. its way hard though, she can be pretty hard to understand sometimes. Shes very amban'ny voatra in her personality, essentially meaning she does not act lmike shes in the big city. Super unwesternized, shes always going around wearing lamboanis in full face paint and nose jewels and everything, the whole get up. I gotta get a picture for you. just google traditional Malagasy dress to see what Im talking about
also, while at the baptism i took a font selfie
also groundbreaking: shadow selfie
also groundbreaking: why am i posting this
groundbreaking doublebreasted handless flower selfie
nah actually i was just playing with these fricking adorable kids,
Elysa? i think thats the spelling
and this adorable kid
Patrick and i-cant-spell-her-name are the kids of a wonderful investigator we have right now named Souer Nicki...except not really. theyre actually her neighbors kids? but theyre always at her house under her custody and come to chrch with her by themselves? but despite their undefinite legal guardians they are definitely amazing, they loooove learning with the missionaries and going to church for some unfathomable reason
have a pic of some of the other cute chiddlers near the absolutely mammoth stake center in downtown tana
the stake center
and Elder Garcia, who is also quite large
is the cutest little girl ever, shes the daughter of my absolute favorite investigator family, Nalia and Alexander. yes, Naliette is named after Nalia, shes also named after Alexander (her last name is alexandria)
heres me and Alex
Alex has trumped even Andry in the fashion sense department, i met him wearing gold earring in the shape of th Air Jordan Logo. i wish i could politely ask fo his picture every time i see him wearing something new, like a white leather jacket with a flaming owl on the back.
Naliette is frigging hyperactive, always talkin so fast in a super high pitched voice usually in french. She loves showing off tht she knows french, and every other sentence you have to tell her to use malagasy.
Nalia, her mom taught her french, and shes also learning english. she practices by sending us texts, which never fail to be amazing (her most recent text is this blogs title). All three of them are super faithful and dilligent and friendly and just a blast to teach and hang out with; plus we can see the gospel changing their lives and improving Nalia and Alexs marriage.
my favorite thing about them is that they all have super distinct voices, and it interacts so well with each other. Naliettes is hyper, clipped, high, with deafaning crescendos. Alex has this super raspy emotional way of speaking thats hard to describe, its like every sentence starts with this sound, he doesnt say "wailay ity", he says "KWAAAAAAIlay it-TY". And Nalia is so deadpan, low, gruff and matter of fact all the time, constantly correcting alex when he reads a word wrong or says the wrong english word and disciplining Naliette. And then there's their cousin Bosco, a quarter indian guy from Diego, way up north in mada who only speaks deigo in the deepest flatest voice i ever heard. Theyre all hilarious, theyre all straight thugs. i love em.
i think im just gonna let the pictures do the talking for most of the rest of this blog
this picture looks how i feel inside... GREAT
everyone thinks spiders are cute, right? thats not just me?
i dont know how they get from theyre front door to the path
this crazy bus that passed us in the night, i wish you could see it better. looked like it was scrapped together from sheet metal and had just left a micheal bay action sequence, half of it was missing. but it still runs, which means youll see it in the middle of the busiest street of madagascar
another bus experience: i was almost run over the other day by a bus that had "Jehovah, Protect Me" painted on the top of the windsheild (in malagasy, obviously). i said a quick prayer that i was the subject of that sticker and not the bus
i dont know if you can tell but this poster for a concert of a bunch of malagasy singers is the single worst photoshop job ive ever seen. her arm, the compression of the pic of the one girl, the completely different lighting in each and every picture... it hurt
its Tom and Jerry
Taxi from the outside
our ward built a model Salt Lake Temple, but for some reason they added a lare crack on one side? i guess theyre just so used to Malagasy construction they cant imagine the building not cracking
So i watched an old church film the other day, Together Forever. it left me with a lot of testimony shaking questions, mostly why isnt the church still using this logo
and this aesthetic
literally what happed in the 80s to 90s
and a whole bunch of obligatory pls mada shots
i leave you with this amazing picture, again (i miss analyzing composition so much)