Sunday, 22 June 2008
Sunday, 15 June 2008
People have left!
Eline, me and Eline (Cameroon)And our dear Torstein joined us. :-)
Luckily some of the Hald students are from Madagascar, so I KNOW I'll see them again one day. Today I found out that I have to set a date for my return to Madagascar. It's much better to know when I'll be back than just the fact that I will be back. It won't be long. I miss it so much.
Thanks to Hald. Thanks to the teachers. Thanks to the people in Madagascar. Thanks to the students at Hald. Thanks to God. I've had a fantastic year and learnt a lot.
I like to think that I am a lot wiser now and that I have gained wisdom for the rest of my life!
Monday, 19 May 2008
still have Malagasy friends, even in Norway! YEAY! This is Rock :-)
BAD NEWS: I lost my pictures from Madagascar! Not much informationwork can be done without them, and I need them to help my poor memory...
GOOD NEWS: My friend is a computernerd, so he found them again! :-) Thanks, Torstein! :-)
I've already had great fun with my friends in Norway. Here are some photos!we got loads of free stuff at Kiwi on the way to Lindesnes Lighthouse
enjoying our stuff at Lindesnes Lighthouse
BAD NEWS: Hald is over the 13th of June...
GOOD NEWS: ...well, hm...
At least my teampartner will still be in Norway! :-)I visited Sigrid in Kristiansand, we hang out with Marte and had lunch with Sigrid's fiancé, Kristoffer
Thursday, 17 April 2008
* There are white people EVERYWHERE!
* And they don't look at you on the streets. Instead they stare at the ground, trying to avoid eyecontact.
* You don't have to bend down if you walk past people who are standing or sitting.
* You get strange looks if you point with your mouth
* Things are EXPENSIVE!
* I can eat whenever and whatever I like, and I can find everything I want!
* We can drink the water from the tap!
* The water is already hot; you don't even have to boil it!
* I can understand the whole conversation and I can say what I want to say without any difficulties
* It's COLD.
Madagascar is not forgotten and never will be. At the same time it's great being back at Hald and hearing stories from the other students.
At one point I felt I had really had a boring stay with nothing exciting happening compared to the others - but then Ola enlightened me by telling great stories from Madagascar that I actually took part in! I guess it had come to the point where life in Madagascar was the normal life, and not really so special. But now I realize that I've had a blast and experienced great things! Now I have to get used to living in Norway again...
Saturday, 5 April 2008
Farafangana was great. We visited our friend Daniel and his family. The few days we stayed there we swam in the Indian Ocean, went on a lakana trip (a Malagasy canoe) and did other tourist things. Nice being a tourist for a change, really relaxing. my future house?
Ola's father Dag, Eline and Daniel in the lakanawe found some children to play with in Farafangana too!
We got back to Tana but didn’t stay there for long before we went North to Mahajanga. We were going for a boattrip on the Mission boat Shalom for 10 days. It was fantastic. We really got to experience missionaries in work. We visited three villages, two of them did not have electricity and no doctor. Our task was to play with the children and teach them Christian songs. We had a great time. In one village the Shalom-workers handed out “Samaritarian’s Purse” for each child. The Samaritan’s Purse was a box containing toys, toothbrushes and other useful things. The children were really happy and it was a great experience seeing their excitement.
My six months in Madagascar are over for now, but I am CERTAIN that I will come back! This half year has made me even more positive about becoming a missionary and doing work for the Lord. I can’t wait to be back on this fantastic island – either as a tourist or as a worker! Madagascar is fantastic and the people are extraordinary. No wonder they call it she Island of Sunshine.
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
I forgot to mention in my last post that Eline and I have got a kitten, and his name is Volamena (Gold in Malagasy). He’s in Fandriana waiting for us too. I miss him…
Check out Eline's blog for more details: http://elinehs.blogspot.com
Wednesday, 13 February 2008
A Demon In Our Dorm (sorry this is a bit long...)
She’s in my English class at SFM. Sits in the back of the classroom - a good student. The girl is quiet but sweet. Whenever I pass her, she is always smiling. There’s a twinkle in her eye. Her name is Hery – strength.
Some weeks ago I experienced another side of the Malagasy culture. I heard terrible screaming and crying from a room down the hall in my dormitory. My curiosity took over and I went to have a look. People were sitting around Hery’s bed, trying to comfort her. She was shaking terribly and literally crying like mad. I’ve never heard anything like it.
“Her heart is sick. There is a demon inside her,” they said when I asked what was the matter. Not exactly what I expected to hear. Before I could figure out a way to help, Hery was carried to another room. Apparently she’d had a vision that made her terrified. She was too weak to stand on her own. We all followed into the next room. Hery was placed on the bed and her friends were trying to calm her. They called the shepherds (Christian exorcists) and they were there in an instant.
“Why aren’t you singing?” they said and started to pray loudly. They wore white gowns and had their Bibles in their hands. I had seen this in church a couple of times, but never had I seen it with connection to a possessed person - and certainly not with any of my students! We fetched our songbooks and we sang as loud as we could, everyone worried about our friend.
“In Jesus’ name – go out of her Satan!” the shepherds shouted angrily. The poor girl was still shaking and screaming; her eyes were fixed on a spot on the wall. She didn’t react when they waved a hand in front of her face. She was totally gone. Hery wasn’t there, her eyes just stared blankly into nowhere. The twinkle and life in her eyes were gone.
After minutes of singing and praying, she finally calmed down. They asked her to say the name Jesus, but in the beginning she couldn’t. She protested and screamed. The shepherds continued their procedure, and eventually she whispered Jesus’ name, several times. Then we prayed for her and took her back to her room.
In the evening everyone gathered in the hallway to sing and pray for Hery. She had come more or less to herself and was explaining what had happened. “I saw a terrible sight – it made me horrified–“ suddenly she stopped, and started screaming all over again. The noise was terrible. We were all very worried. The shepherds were called again and started their routine once more.
Eline and I couldn’t sleep thinking there was a demon in the house. And the noise was too much to handle. Our friend was clearly in terrible pain and we felt so helpless. We spent the following night in the other Norwegians’ house. They had heard the screaming all the way to their house – that’s over 100 metres…
The following day, Hery went home, 6 hours North of Fandriana. Rumours spread quite quickly in Madagascar. Some say the demon is still in the dorm, some say it went with Hery. Some people don’t believe that there was a demon inside her at all. They say that she was depressed or had some kind of illness. I remember seeing her a few days before her “seizures”. I noticed then that she wasn’t the same old Hery. She was keeping to herself and didn’t look at all happy…
I know you readers might find it hard to believe that she was possessed. We’re not used to think this in the West. I don’t think anyone has the correct answer to that, except God. All I know is that something wasn’t right about Hery; something had definitely come over her… It is difficult for us to decide whether she was possessed or just sick. But I have a theory: what if it’s the devil who gives her the illness? What if the demon is a disease? That can be a way for him to take possession of our souls and hearts. Certainly I don’t think God would put his children into such pain…
Guess it was time for a little philosophical blog post now. I meet people with a lot different viewpoints than I am used to; it’s interesting.
I thank God that I have a faith that makes me strong and a teampartner I can share thoughts and moments with…
Now to something far different…
Some photos of one of our workplaces
the blue and white building is the primary school we teach at…
…far away in the village of Iharana
then we teach the teachers afterwards, this time we did it in the church and all we had was a small blackboard and some chalk
The power of the white human being
We are white. It is so obvious. As if it wasn’t enough getting glances and comments on the streets because our skin colour is so noticeable, the police have to stop us too. One Saturday Eline and I got to borrow the Norwegians’ car. We were so ready for a road trip to Ambositra (1 hour North), where we would buy each other birthday presents and have a nice restaurant meal. It was a long time since we’d driven a car, so we were quite nervous and very excited.
When we were driving home from Ambositra, we got pulled over by the police. This isn’t just peanuts, because in Madagascar the police have huge rifles on their back. You have to fear them for them to get respect… As it was my turn to sit behind the wheel, I was quite nervous as I rolled down the window.
this is a nice road in Madagascar!
“Salama tompoko,” I said politely and smiled. Could he see that I was nervous? Apparently he didn’t care. He had stopped us for private reasons. After having flattered us with compliments about our appearances – and found out we teach English – he explained that he’d like to learn too. Trying to impress us with the knowledge he already had, he said “I love you” and hoped for a positive answer. What to do?! He was the police, so I had to act in a proper way. Eline and I couldn’t help but laugh – and that saved us from the awkward moment. At the end he asked me for my driver license, indicating it was ok if I had left it at home. After having seen my name and the date of birth, he used the information to get to know me better. Luckily we got away soon enough. “See you, mademoiselle Swan,” he said at last. Well, we’ll see about that…
We had to be stopped twice again by different police on our way back. These smelled of alcohol and had the same purpose as the other one, but we got away safely and somehow managed to avoid giving them our number…
Pictures of our accommodation
Relaxing with a film in the evening
Our beautiful and (un)comfortable toilet
The place where we get water for our shower, wash clothes and do the dishes.
Our present location is Antsirabe, where we will spend the rest of the week at a small Missionary Meeting. We’re here to play with the children and attend some seminaries. That’ll be fun!
As I said; nobody told us everything we would meet in this country, but that’s been part of the adventure. We’re having great fun! I love Madagascar very much and I’m dreading the day I have to leave all my friends here…
Here are some delayed photos of different people and events
some of my friends on a picnic with SFM
Eline buying fruit on the way home from In-field
The first Sunday of Advent with Norwegians
boat in Mahajanga, taken by Maria
Bottom-line for now:
The police have power, but so does the white person.
Africa is good, but Madagascar is best!
There are many good organizations and schools, but Hald is number 1!
Satan is strong, but JESUS IS THE STRONGEST!