Antananarivo = Tana
Tana, a city of one million people,who are a beautiful mix of African, Middle Eastern, and Indonesian. We have met wonderful new friends, enjoyed delicious food (rice!) and learned to walk amongst throngs of people buying and selling goods. Adjusting to the time change took a few days (sleeping in the middle of the afternoon did not help), but we successfully managed to greet others in Malagasy, go to the bank, mail some letters, and go out to eat on our own. We have also discovered the chocolate shop and glasy (ice cream!).
The past week in Tana, we also visited two of the potiental site placements for the ELCA volunteers. Pastor Haja creates numerous opportunities for the youth of his community.
The second site we visited is a women’s training center. Helen created the program as well as studied at Wartburg Seminary in Iowa! and is a theologian here in Madagascar.
Most importantly we must introduce Sthela. She is our liaison between the Malagasy Lutheran Church (FLM) and the ELCA. She has been a wonderful guide, teacher, friend, encourager, and a smile each day! She has taught us about the Malagasy culture, food, language, as well as enabled us to do our job smoothly. We attended church with her on Sunday morning (6am worship!) and enjoyed very much a Lutheran liturgy and familiar tunes to songs.
Next to come…Anstirabe and Language school. Veloma!
– Austin and Tanya