January 19, 2015 - The hills are alive with the sound of music and walking like a Gangster.
Well I do not have a lot of time so I will be brief. This week was pretty good I think. During lessons there are rarely times when I am completely lost. The hardest part is trying to not sound stupid when I try to speak my thoughts in Malagasy. There still are lots of words that I have not yet learned. A few days ago while I was teaching a lesson about Baptism and the Priesthood Authority I made a mistake without realizing it at first. I was on the part about the Baptism and I said, "Iza no nanao batisa i Jesoa Kristy?" - that part is good. They responded, "Jean mpanao Batisa", and then I clarified and said, "Eny, nanao batisa i Jesoa Kristy John the Baptist". The important part in understanding the story is that midst the Malagasy sentence I used the English Name "John the Baptist" which they won't understand (I did say it with a pretty good Malagasy accent though). My trainer then corrected me and I laughed after realizing my mistake. So ya, it was funny for me.
Something that was sort of strange during the week is that while Elder Schroedter and I were relaxing for a few minutes on a hill some random dude comes up on top and starts breaking out into song. It was really strange. It sort of sounded like gospel and opera music mixed together. He just looked over part of the city and sang his soul out to no one in particular. The only ones who were really in listening distance at the time were the two of us. 10 bucks says he was drunk.
Every Saturday here from 10 AM to Noon the six of us (missionaries in our house) teach English to all of the Malagasies who wish to learn. Lately they have turned more into lessons on politics and business and stuff, sometimes I even learn a thing or two. So anyways, when it was Elder Tangarasi's (my black MTC companion from Vanuato) turn to speak he started lecturing about current "problems that spoil the lives of the young people". So he started talking about the basic things like drugs, alcohol, Rongony, and teenage pregnancies. Something about Elder Tangarasi is that whenever he teaches English class he will always do giant motions to help clarify his words. The funniest part for me was when he started to talk about fashion and how that affects lifestyle. He gave an example of before he was baptized and said he was a good kid and wasn't a gangster, he then said that his friend gave him a hat (the caps that modern gangsters wear) and after he put on the hat his mannerisms changed and he started to walk like a gangster. He then demonstrated and took low thugish swopping stepps with his hands behind his back. He then compared the two types of walking: normal, and gangster. I don't know, to me it was really funny, but you probably had to be there. When he was finished talking about the negative influences on the youth's lives, Elder Hein (our zone leader) took the stage. He began talking about business and how easy it would be to make money and be successful in Madagascar. He gave an example of how in Madagascar people will all have the exact same inventory in their road shacks (called episteries) and the shacks will be right next to each other and the items will all be the same price, there is no incentive to go to one episterie over another (when it comes to Business, don't ask a Malagasy for advice). He said that all someone would have to do is to just have a different item than the rest, or cheaper prices and then they would make more money than the rest. He then ranted about the small roads and the horrible bus system in Antananarivo. Elder Hein dreams of starting a business here and becoming rich.
Thats all for now folks, hopefully I will upload some pictures next week. Have a decent week,
Whenever I walk by the chickens they all turn their heads and watch me, while clucking harshly, I imagine they are attempting to formulate the phrase everyone is saying (bonjour fahaza).