Saturday, May 2, 2015

Ambohimanarina, Madagascar Week 19

April 27, 2015

So I was right, I am moving areas this transfer. I am going to a place called Ambositra. It is a place that is kind of in the middle of nowhere with respect to other missionaries. It is in the middle of the country up in the mountain area. I will be in a 2 man house only, so that will be interesting I guess. There are no supermarkets in the city, so I guess I will be eating a lot more shack food - lol. The city does have some decent wood carvings that you can buy, so that is good.

Last week we got to see conference. We watched it at the office in Antananarivo. I thought it was enjoyable and may have learned a thing or two. I liked when President Uchtdorf spoke in his native language after the Spanish talk and cracked a joke. I was confused and honestly thought I just wasn't understanding his English or something.

Yesterday something really weird happened. We had just finished a Dinner appointment and were heading home. We were tired and excited for transfer news. Then a kid said the classic, genuine, original statement, "Bonjour Vazaha Be", and then we responded in kind with "Hello Gasy Kely". They said "Bonjour Big Foreigners" and we said "Hello Small Malagasy". But some dude was behind us (and just a little bit drunk) and got upset. He told us that it was bad saying "Small Malagasy" and to not say it again. He may of thought that we were talking to him or something, I don't know. So we took our separate paths in the road and parted ways. We walked for 10 minutes and then I heard someone running. I turned around and say this Malgasy coming back, he was still way upset because we said "Gasy Kely". We started to converse, he was ranting on how it wasn't OK to say that Malagasies are small. He then used some hand motions and demonstrated how Malagasies are really taller and bigger than Americans. We tried pleading with the man, telling him that we were just responding to the children's blunt remarks of, "Big Foreigner". But he was out of control mad, so he asked for our number and address, and we didn't give them to him obviously. I didn't want a bunch of upset and noisy Malagasies breaking in to our house loudly and ruining my sleep that night, the mosquitoes are bad enough. He then told us that he was a Police officer but not working today, that is when I got a little nervous. He then tried walking with us in order to go to the police station. Flashbacks of watching Prison Break then flashed through my mind. I imagined the awful prison that they were all stuck in in season 3, the Malagasy prisons are probably worse. I then concluded that I didn't want to be in prison before I could even grow a beard so I tried reasoning with this man. He was way mad. I was like, "Dude, we were just talking back to the kids because they called us big foreigners, and they are small Malagasies". But he wouldn't listen. He was screaming how that wasn't good to him. Malagasies are really big, and Americans are small (whether he was talking about height or morals, I couldn't really decipher). He also told us that he hates the English Language, it is too confusing so we shouldn't use it anymore. I tried calming him down and attempted to agree and apologize with him, "Yeah English sucks as a language, Malagasy is really clear, I am sorry we called the small Malagasies small". He started to cool down a bit. I then said that I loved all of the Malagasy people (which is true, mind) and told him that I was dearly sorry for offending him. We then told him that we had another appointment back in the town and that we had to go the other way. He reluctantly let us go and told us to be careful and to never call a Malagasy small again. We then waited for a bit and turned around to go back home. It was a pretty weird experience. And from this story we learn that alcohol is truly bad, and that it scares young missionaries into thinking they are going to have to plan a prison escape from a third world country. We also learn that Malgasies (contrary to popular belief) are in fact taller than Americans. It was weird though, lol.

Well, this keyboard makes me mad, so I refuse to write anymore.

Have fun in America this week, the place where there is freedom of speech (I thought that freedom was in this country too, but I guess it is not so).

Elder Anderson

Recent Convert to the church.

A member family (the grandparents are still not members as they are waiting for legal marriage).

My dmb (ward branch leader) enjoying a snack.

An investigator.

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