Sunday, April 1, 2012

Culture Shock and Porkchops

March 25, 2012

It is miraculous how quickly things that are so different from life at home start to seem normal.  It isn’t strange to tuck in my mosquito net at night.  It isn’t strange to look out and see rice fields in the morning instead of large houses across from me.  It isn’t strange to boil water and wander down to the ladosy to shower with a cup and bucket.  It all feels normal now, but then that startles me—how much culture shock is missing haha.

It is also amazing when I think back to my first weekend at homestay and compare it to four weekends later.  How much more comfortable I am around my family, how much more I can say to them haha.  In just a few short weeks you can learn a whole lot of language when it is a sink or swim plunge.  We have a test on Wednesday, about 7 minutes of conversation each.  A little nervous, but I have confidence in my speaking abilities.  We are supposed to be at novice high on their scale for this test, and then we have one at the end of training as well.  Since the instruction and homestay involve so much conversation we are all getting pretty good at that, which is different from instruction in the states.

That’s all for now.  This was my study break, so not too much content since most of my thoughts are concerned with how to talk about my family and what I did yesterday in Malagasy haha.  Also super psyched to learn all about my site tomorrow and sell some fondue!!


“Ny hazo tokana tsy mba ala…One tree does not make a forest”

Yep, two posts today, because what started out as a mediocre day became awesome.  So I was studying and what not and then decided to go outside and play with the bros.  Then it started to rain and we came in for dinner.  We had PORKCHOPS that were incredible.  They were fried so the outside kind of tasted like bacon too.  Soooooo good.  Then, when dinner was over and we were eating oranges, my mom comes out with a bag in her hand, the kind they use for shopping at the market. I have one too, from PC.  She tells me a few things, but I don’t quite get the gist.  Then I realize she is talking about the fact that I am leaving Thursday to go live at the training center.  She pulls out a purple and yellowish woven hat, and a small bag in the shape of a house with a baobab and pineapple on it.  Inside was a lamba’hoany, which is kind of like a sarong with a proverb on it, much like ones in Kenya.  Women here in the highlands mostly as aprons to keep their clothes cleaner.  I hear women on the coast wear them just as skirts too.  Mine is pink with the image of a village with a bridge, a few trees, a pond, and a man fishing.  The quote at the top of this post is written in a box at the bottom.  I nearly cried right there at the table, but laughed and ran to get my camera. They took pictures of me wearing everything.  I am going to miss them a ton.  Excited to give them things at the end of April as well.  They come to the training center to hear a presentation we give all in Malagasy.  They really are wonderful people.

Selling bright and early tomorrow.  Veloma!

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