Although I haven’t talked about Hansie’s mission here, we miss him every day– especially holidays and weekends and Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays…
Hans loves Madagascar and sends emails every Monday that make us laugh out loud. A few excerpts:
To get everywhere we ride these things called taxi bes (bays), they’re crazy. They’re buses you jump into in the back and squeeze through a million people to get to a seat and then jump off of about two minutes later. But it’s a good chance to practice my Malagasy, basically every time I sit down next to someone I tell them I’m trying to learn Malagasy and ask them to help me. They are always willing to talk at least a little.
What else? Oh there’s lots of French here, every billboard and ad is in French, when people see us they say bonjour because they assume we’re French. Well that or they call us vazaha, which basically means white guy from another country. I think it’s funny, but all the old guys hate it. I think it’s hilarious, but I don’t know what they’re saying.
Speaking of little kids, they’re super cute here, and there are a million of em. It seems people are never at there own houses. We’ll talk to someone with ten kids in their house or yard and they say they only have one kid. Everyone’s kids just roam around together
The power has cut out twice, so I’m just sending this now love you all!
Dear Mary, I keep seeing cute little kids that remind me of you, also yesterday we were about to teach some people and we were just talking about their family and they asked about our families so they were the first Malagasy family I showed my pictures to, I always keep the pictures you took outside the MTC in my bag, and everyone loves hearing about my family!Madagascar is great! Sorry this is late we were emailing last night and the
power went out.
Me and Elder Johnson waiting for the people with the keys to the church to come for zone conference. Featuring Elder Olsen with a cookie in his mouth, not a Hitler-stache.
I see chickens and cows everyday. The cow here are called zebu though and they have a big hump on their neck, you should look it up it’s cool. I also see feral dogs all the time, they’re scary, but they’re all scared of people because people are so mean to them here. I saw a dead dog on the side of the road last week it looked totally fine except for it was on its side super stiff and its legs were in the air. I see lots of spiders.
I love the food! It’s actually really good, although we put some chicken we ate in the fridge yesterday and then I ate it at night but the power goes out so it might’ve gone bad, I feel a little bit sick but I’m probably fine. Have a good week!
Dear Mary, I’m doing great!
Anyway here’s a thing that’s kind of interesting. Obviously we don’t have a computer in our house, so to write to you guys we go to the cyber. Basically we just walk down the street and find a little building with 6 computers. We don’t have libraries here because no one really reads because no one is really educated. So we go to cybers and they charge you by the minute. The one I’m at is pretty expensive so it costs 50 ariary per minute. Which ends up costing us 5000 ariary, which is actually less than a dollar fifty haha! Anyway I hope that was interesting.
this is just a warning, the cyber I’m at is very bad, I’m still alive and safe but you might not get much more than this this week, sorry!
Anyway, after we looked at most of the animals we crossed a little bridge to a little hut in the middle of the croc enclosure. Then we threw our chicken (we named it Kevin, but Kevin was actually a girl) in. She hit the ground, bounced and didn’t hit the ground again, a croc grabbed her and chomped her a couple times and swam off. It was scary. Also Elder Olsen and I touched a crocodile, we barely tapped its tail and it started swinging it around, but it’s okay we just leaned over the super safe stone wall. It was super safe because it was about four feet tall instead of two.The split was cool, I saw a cock fight, there were probably 12 people hanging out between two houses and a little kid and a probably thirty year old guy ran in with roosters and got them fighting. It was intense, eventually one of them ran off and everyone booed, it was funny.
My birthday was great! Elder Johnson is great so he made pancakes for breakfast, and he made syrup. And we had whipped cream and strawberries, which apparently don’t have brain worms. That’s just a missionary rumor. It was super good, and very nice of him.
Last thing I’m getting transferred to Fort Dauphin, it’s the furthest south you can go, it’s the furthest you can get from the mission home and Salt Lake. It’s also on the beach and beautiful and the members are super great and give millions of referrals, it’s kind of where everyone wants to go! So I’m excited, Elder Johnson has been there and he talks about it all the time!
p.s. thanks for the video mommy and everyone who was in it you’re all great!
I had my first baptism this week. I didn’t do it the guys cousin did. Which you know it’d be cool to do it myself, but I will be in his life a maximum of six months and his cousin will always be there. We’ve taught Mickael ever since I got here. He’s fourteen and he lives part time with his cousin who actually works at the mission office. His full name is Rakotomalala Tojonaina Mickael, and his cousin’s name is Rakotomalala Nirina Lalaina. Basically every guy here is named Rakotomalala. And Lalaina is hilarious, after the baptism he said, “Hey, you guys have been working hard, you deserve a little break, we should all go get ice cream, and you guys should pay.” Also in church yesterday he told Elder Olsen they should go get pizza. He’s just constantly messing with missionaries. We were at his house last night and his wife pointed at a crib and asked what it was in English and he said ‘baby sleep’ so it’s not just us he messes with.
We teach English every Saturday, and wow our English class is doing great, we have probably 50 people coming every week now. It’s great, it means I have a bunch of people who are OK at English that I can ask Malagasy questions to.
I’m not sending pictures this week because I can’t really trust this cyber, but next week there will probably maybe be some good ones!
So much happened this week and you guys will only get a short version because I took too long replying to people, oops!
Here’s a fun malagasy thing: the word for cute literally means, “makes me kind of die.” Mahafatifaty
Elder Ahlstrom’s birthday was Tuesday, we bought a kilo of flour and 21 eggs and we got him good.
Elder Ahlstrom is hilarious by the way. If someone tries to be funny and say “Hi” to us in English he’ll get all excited and say
I had a dream a while ago that one of you sent me an email of travel plans to come home for the wedding. And it was just assumed I was coming back for it and it bugged me. I wanted to stay out here and not be interrupted. It was weird.
Also here’s a picture of me with a lemur
I found this video of Hans feeding a lemur. 🙂
Sorry I’m feel like I’m not remembering this week very well at all, so I’ll tell two things from yesterday, one spiritual, one funny.
And I was thinking wow, the second you thing you understand someone completely is a moment of pride, you demean them severely, everyone I know, even the people I know best I always try to remember I don’t know them perfectly. We live as we dream, alone. For me that means be nice to people, try to understand them, give them the benefit of the doubt. And I thought, if I’m simple that means I’m boring, that means people don’t think there’s much to me.
Hi Mom- It’s so weird you guys are getting ready for Christmas, it’s the hottest time of the year, we literally have sweat dripping off our faces while we teach. It’s super hot and the houses usually have tin roofs so it’s like teaching in a microwave.
I wouldn’t believe every missionary loses thirty pounds. Maybe they do at some point. A lot of people gain a lot of weight and then they get sick and lose it, but don’t worry I weighed myself about a week ago and I’m almost exactly the same as when I left. I do know one missionary who lost 30 pounds during his first transfer here because he was sick, but I saw him at the end of his second transfer and he was pretty chubby again, it’s not hard to get enough to eat at all.