Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Ambositra, Madagascar Week 6

June 8, 2015

So, this week has been pretty slow and busy. The zone leaders came up to the lonely Ambositra last Tuesday and we did splits with them. I was with Elder Lambert and we just followed the usual program, whereas Elder Snell (My companion) split off with Elder Hein (My old zone leader from Ambohimanarina whom I dwelt with) and they mainly visited old members and investigators that Elder Hein was close with when he worked there. Elder Hein is going home this week, pretty crazy. Elder Lambert still has 6 weeks left before he leaves. The rest of this week we have just been sitting around in the house waiting for the Malagasy workers to finish our house. They work very slowly. The house still isn't entirely finished, but we do have hot water for our shower now, so that is nice. Now we just need them to hurry and install the new faucet in the kitchen so that we can have some clean, filtered water to drink. Man can only live on bottles of Coke and Ramen broth for so long. Water is slightly essential to human life (If my AP Biology teacher knew his stuff that is). But we do have like a bottle or two of that good old eau vive, so no harm done I guess.

Malagasies are very lazy though (though you will eventually see the occasional Malagasy or two that has some sort of ambition, but they are definitely lazy as a whole), that is something that I have learned during my many adventures and trials attempting to work with them. The best way to describe the situation of Madagascar and her people is that they are very content with what they have, and are afraid of change or help in general. You can teach a Malagasy a more efficient and easier way of getting rice off of the rice-stick-thing, but the next day they will go back to the usual, grounded, way of taking a single stick of rice and hitting it against a rock. They are like this in all ways of life. And that is probably the reason why they are the 2nd poorest country or something, they are so behind the times. The only stuff that they sort of keep up to date is phones. But even then, most of the phones here are just fake copies, not the original. They still aren't half bad though from what I've seen. The average image of a Malagasy is this: Sitting on the floor in their uncomfortable squat position thing that the do, they will be texting on their fake iPhone with one hand, cooking food with charcoal (there is a stove in their house mind) and will be nursing their baby at the same time outside in the open in cheap, dirty, old clothes. And the next day they will wash all of their clothes by hand, and if you ask them why, they will say because it is faster and that washing and drying machines ruin clothes. Pretty strange to me, but whatever makes them tick I guess. But yeah, the dudes in our new house painting and cleaning, and installing pipes, and reinforicing windows, and fixing doors all work incredibly slow, and they are never on time. The average working Malagasy day is like this. Show up fashionably late to work, earn a buck or two, and then blow all of the money they just earned on alcohol at a local bar. And then it repeats. They just like staying still I guess, they don't have any desire to change or to progress. But it is fine by me, because I get to eat at the finest restaurants here for around 3 to 7 bucks a plate, not too shabby at all. One day they may reach 3rd World Country status, but we will just have to wait and see for now.

I am writing you all from Antsirabe right now, we came here for P day and to get our new companions. Elder Snell is switching areas, he is going to work in Antananarivo for the first time. I am staying in Ambositra and receiving a new companion. His name is Elder Wootan, I don't really know much about him. He has been in country for around 10 months or so, around there, so he will be the senior companion. I am not sure if I am ready to lead the Ambositra area though, I still have a really hard time remembering paths and roads and the way around my area. I have a pretty general idea now, we shall see.

Our Branch here hasn't been doing so great as of late, this past Sunday we had 33 people come to Sacrament meeting in total. that is 20 down from last week. The decreasing church attendance might be a result of the cold though. It gets fairly cold here in Ambositra, still not as cold as Logan, but still pretty cold for being in Africa. Ambositra is close to Antsirabe which is the coldest place in Madagascar. The center of the island is full of mountains which is the reason for the cold here. I even had to wear a sweater one day when I went out to work. Hopefully next Sunday doesn't follow the established pattern, lest we have 12 people come to Sacrament meeting, that is about the size of my family.

Dang, flies are annoying, one of the stupid things just flew straight into my eye, maybe they get drunk like everyone else here in Madagascar, IDK. This is like the 7th time these past few weeks were a fly has just flown straight into my eye, it is really annoying. Shouldn't they be able to see a giant white dude sitting down at a computer? Man, bugs in general though. The struggle.

So apparently the weird thing on my heel was an African flea. It shouldn't cause too much of a problem from what I have heard.

That is all
Good Bye,


Here we have a recent pic of my heel, as it heals from the African Flea laying eggs in it.

Some ladies washing their clothes. They literally work all day and all night just washing clothes.

Me in my new apartment, 3 floors for 2 guys, not bad.

Pic of my eye taken while waiting for my rice. As you can see, no permanent damage from seven flies in and out.

Two Random old pics from my camera.
MTC with me, my MTC comps, and one of my teachers.

Some reptile thing that we found back in Ambohimanarina.

More heel pics as it is healing.

The following are pictures from Elder Snell, Benjamin's companion.

The view from the apartment.

Another view from the apartment.

Cows on a path, a very common occurrence in Madagascar.

Street vendor selling hats by the side of the road.

Elders Snell, Hein, Lambert, and Benjamin on splits.

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