My World Through the Eyes of Another

As Janet and I walked around the city, she snapped pictures like crazy. I was taken back in time to when I first arrived and everything was new and different; picture worth. Pausing along the way as Janet took another picture; I realized that this was now my world. I couldn’t even imagine having to return to the USA and leaving behind this country. These people, even the ones I just pass along the street, have touched my heart in a way I can’t describe except to say that God is working in my heart to make my heart’s desire match His. I am so thankful for each of you who support me through financial support and prayer. Since you are having such a big impact in my world, I thought you might want to catch of glimpse of what it looks like.

The name of the city nearest mine is written across the hill behind my house.

Rush hour traffic includes not just cars and taxis but cows and carts of all sorts as well. It is completely normal to be dodging cows also on their way home as I walk from Pastor D's house to the taxi stop in the evenings.

This is the beautiful captial city of Antananarivo, which is where I live.

This man is waiting for a taxi be with a bunch of baskets. The baskets will be sold and then are often filled with vegetables, produce, ducks or chickens that are being taken to market. The people carry these baskets on their heads.

This is one of the fruit stands where I often buy fruit.

This man pulls a cart around delivering various goods to different locations. These carts are often piled high and several men pull/push them.

This is the market closest to my house where I often buy vegetables. The people who run the stands are used to my halting Malagasy and have alot of fun talking (or trying to...) to me. :)
 Thank you for investing your resources into this beautiful world that God has called us to.


What Does a Cow Say?

What does a cow say?? The question brings memories flooding back. A little red toy barn complete with a set of farm animals. When you opened the door there was the sound of a cow, ‘moo!’ I remember the times I was suppose to be taking a nap in my room and played with my farm instead, trying to stifle the ‘moo’ as I opened the door to let the animals out of the barn so mom wouldn’t hear. (Yes, mom, I did that….) Or there was the toy that had a wheel you spun and correctly matched the sound it made with the animal. ‘Moo!’ said the cow. For the last 26 years cows have always said ‘moo,’ whether they were real or just toys. Cows don’t ‘moo’ anymore. They ‘maa.’ “Cows don’t even say ‘moo’ here!!” I found myself retorting when discovering this fact.
I have been slowly learning that everything here is different then the world I grew up in.  Cows don’t say ‘moo.’ When you get hurt you don’t say ‘ouch.’ The appropriate response is ‘ahy!’ (that’s right, just like a pirate!!) Instead of haha, you say heyhey, and the list goes on. Learning a whole new way of looking at the world and responding to it often feels like an uphill battle. Many days I find myself going to bed wondering if I made any progress that day. Was I any more ‘Malagasy’ today then I was yesterday? Is my vocabulary any bigger? Did I understand more? Could I participate more?
This last week was an eye opener. Janet Walker arrived on Wednesday. She will be helping to teach an Instructor of Teachers 2 training here this month. I figured I would be thrilled to death being free to speak English with another native speaker. I thought I’d love meeting the other English trainers and trainees. To my great shock, it was just the opposite. I was far more comfortable just hanging out with the Malagasy family who I have grown to love and who accept me despite the color of my skin and the plethora of cultural and language blunders I make. I found myself talking to the English speakers in Malagasy by accident. Given the choice, I preferred to be with my Malagasy family and speak Malagasy rather then speak English and try to fit back into the culture I left behind. Today I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am a little more Malagasy today then I was yesterday. My vocabulary is a little bigger. I understood and was able to participate a little bit more. Even though I am still working at learning the culture and the language, and far from being fluent at either, I must confess it brought a smile to my face to hear on several occasions my Malagasy family tell one of the English speakers, “She’s Malagasy.”
Janet arrived with a few free days before the training started, so on Friday, several of the boys and I took her to the zoo.