torsdag 16. april 2009

Back to where I came from

We went to Vohipeno, we cut rice, we went to Farafangana, killed a turkey, went up the river in a lakana (boat made of a log), went back to Sab-Nam, had a great picnic with the English Club on Saturday, a hectic Sunday - last day in Ebenezera, our church, went to a scout meeting, then back to Ebenezera to the choir’s concert. After saying good bye to both people and working places we left. Left to the airport, left the country. Left France, left Holland and finally arrived in Norway, in Bergen.

It’s strange to be back. Strange to put Madagascar behind me and strange to feel how Norway is after being away for quite a long time. Afraid I will forget what I have experienced, to leave what I have accomplished behind. All the things I have learned, all the challenges I have had and everything I got from handling them. Will I be the same as I was when I left in October? Or will I be able to take with me all I have learned? I hope I will. I hope I can take all the good things from Madagascar, from me in Madagascar, with me here. When I’m at Hald, when I come home and in the time after when I don’t know what I will do with my life.
It has been the best time in my life and I have got so many good memories. I’ll definitely try to go back as soon as possible.

søndag 22. mars 2009


First, some news: after a meeting with both Ravalomanana and Rajoelina (Andry), and the leaders of the church, military etc, Rajoelina left the meeting when Ravalomanana declared that he would resign and give the power to some of the high military leaders. When these news spread to the soldiers standing out side the chaos begun. They support Rajoelina and did not agree with the new decision. They kidnapped three generals and two other members of the meeting and these three generals gave the power to Rajoelina later that evening. So now there’s a new president here who really shouldn’t be. France is now the only country still supporting Madagascar financially, except from private organizations, and also the only country who has agreed to Rajoelina as the new president. So now we’ll just have to see what’ll happen.

And then, to the headline - Saturday. It was a strange day. First, Friday night actually, Jens and I were invited to join the declaration of Rajoelina as the new president. I really wanted to go to see what would happen, but as it then would seem like we support him and we probably would have been filmed by the TV stations we decided that it would be better not to go. Bonde and Daniel however went there and were going to buy the ingredients for the Malagasy food we were going to have in the evening. We always cook Malagasy food on Saturday.
After kids’ English Club Luc, our good friend from English Club, joined us after playing volleyball. We invited him to join us for dinner in the afternoon. That he stayed for many hours didn’t really surprise us much but when I came home after going to the cyber café and the marked and was told that two of my students from CEG had been looking for me, wanting to take a picture, I was a bit amazed. They should come back at 14.00. I was also a bit sick, I still am, so the resting I needed didn’t really happen. When it was close to 14.00 I went out to look for the girls but I only saw a boy standing in the gate. 15 min later I went out again. Still only the boy there. As Jens had washed his clothes and it started to rain he went out to take them in. and when he came back he was not alone. The boy from the gate was with him, it was one of his students from Aka.Ma - the deaf school! Now it was not only Luc, and Thomas who also showed up, who were visiting, but a deaf guy as well. At least Jens was there and I could take a rest. Now I saw that my students had arrived - no time for rest. I went out and was not surprised to see “number 16”, Fabiola, who might be the student who likes me he most, was one of them. Unfortunately they don’t speak English very well and I of course don’t speak Malagasy very well. We took some pictures and I was tired and wanted them to go, even though it was really sweet of them to come visit. They asked it they could see the house and on our way in we met Jens and the deaf guy on their way to the marked. Luc had gone home and Thomas was on his way to the choir. I showed them to the living room where I played the guitar for them and taught Fabiola some chords. Luckily Jens came back, this time with a girl as well - the friend of the deaf guy, also deaf! Nor Bonde and Daniel were at home and we had to handle this on our own: four visitors who would stay for who knew how long. We started playing card game and this worked out really well and then Daniel and Bonde came back. My students fortunately had to go home right after and I finally got the tome to rest a bit. Jens’s party stayed for a while longer but eventually they went home as well.

For you international students this might sound quite ordinary and normal bur for us it was strange. We did not expect it. But was nice! The day really didn’t go as planned but hey, we’re in a new culture, isn’t this what we’re supposed to experience? It indeed was a strange day but a good one as well. Especially for Jens who got the good news that he and Øyvin, and Brigitte (ettåring), are going to Mahajanga to join the Shalom boat. Next week Arnhild and I will go to Antsirabe on Thursday/Friday and then we’ll go to Vohipeno to visit Preben (ettåring)! Some great least weeks lies ahead!

mandag 16. mars 2009

Close to the finish line

Wow - 28th of January: my last blog. I'm really sorry for those of you who have been interested in knowing how I'm doing!

The political situation is worse than ever and it seems like it will never end. We have been without work since my last blog, didn't get a proper infield and have just been stuck here doing basically nothing. But we're all fine and nothing bad has happened. i lost my wallet though, that was quite bad, but that's what happens when everybody tries to get out of the bus at the same time. I didn't get hurt or anything so it could've been much worse.
As me and Jens are in charge of the English Club we’re the ones with the most work. Therefore Arnhild and Øyvin went to Antsirabe to work with Birgitte, the ettåring, these last weeks. Jens and I might go there in a week or so, but who knows if the roads will be blocked or what. So for now we’re just staying here and I am enjoying the last weeks - my last chance to talk to people and appreciate this fantastic country before I go home.

I’m sorry this is quite short, but I’ll try to update soon, and then a bit longer. We’re still fine and I love it here!

onsdag 28. januar 2009

Snot, political crises and running time

Sneezing, snot, fever, coughing - the flue. Completely normal at least once during the Norwegian winter. And guess what? It exists in Madagascar as well. At least I was able to get it. Who thought of bringing warm clothes to Africa? Not me, for sure. So when the sun sets, or is just gone for the whole day because of the rain season, it gets cold. And then I get cold. And eventually I get sick as well. So after eating a lot of new food, been many dirty places and in a really different country than Norway the one thing that brings me down is the flue.
So here I am, with a regular illness, just like home.

And in the middle of this the government has gone crazy. The president decided to close the TV-station of the mayor, his biggest rival. This of course resulted in big demonstrations. When he then chose to also close his radio station things didn’t become better. So now there’s been a lot of protesting against the president and the town is not the safest place anymore. So it seems like I’ve chosen a good time to be sick, as we’re not able to go to work this week and are just staying in Sabotsy-Namehana. Here it’s safe. So except from little milk, oil and butter, as the president has got monopoly on these things and his warehouses have been robbed, we’re doing just fine. Relaxing and doing nothing. For the first time since I got home from Mahajanga I’ve actually cleaned my room properly: folded my clothes nicely and put them in my suitcase. Put up the mosquito net and made my room nice again. So being stuck here is not totally bad!

But I’m good. We’re good. Madagascar is wonderful and I’m starting to realize that this won’t last forever. Just as I was on my way to get here four moths ago, I’ll soon be on my way back home again. They say that the time is coming here in Africa, it’s not just passing by fast, like in the western world that we know. But I think the time is passing by pretty fast here as well. Sometimes even running. It seems like just a month ago Arnhild and I went to Mahajanga. And it seems like only a couple of days ago we were wondering about how it would be so start working again when we came back to Sab-Nam. And now January is closing up, we have only a couple of days left and then the boys will come back, Monica will come and infield will start. Hopefully, if things don’t get worse. With a packed program time is always running by. And our program is packet. So soon infield will be finished. Soon we’ll go to Antsirabe to join the missionaries’ meeting. Soon I’ll turn 20 and soon we’ll go home. And what then? May be then I’ll have the culture shock I never really got here, when I come back to Norway. Will much have changed? how much will I have changed? I don’t know.
It makes me think. Wonder. About the future. About all the things we experience. If everything will just pass by and be forgotten.

fredag 16. januar 2009

Start of a new year

Back to Sab-Nam. Two weeks has already past, quite quickly as well. Suddenly I’m in the middle of work everyday, planning, teaching, spending too many hours stuck in traffic jam.. The everyday life is back to normal but still things are changed. I have some new working places: Mondays I’m joining Arnhild at Faravohitra, a sort of girl’s prison for young girls who have committed minor crimes or are just being punished by their parents. It seems to be a quite sad place. Too many girls in a place with too little space. May be it is for them but for us, visiting them, it’s one of the best times during the week. These girls are so full of love and joy that it’s hard to understand what they possible could have done wrong.
The other new working place I have is Ilofav, the women center. My first day is on Monday and I’ll teach English there.

I got an e-mail. Asking me to write an article about being a disciple. My first thought was “Huh? I’m not a disciple, I’m just a volunteer worker or something…”. But then I started to think about what is written in the Bible. That we should trust in God and let Him use us the way He wants to. Let Him lead us. And I look at my life: I just finished high school. I play the guitar and sing, just not when people are listening, I have no experience in leadership when it comes to leading Christian meetings, preach, etc. then I look at my life here: I’m a teacher, an authority, and at CEG, only one of my working places, I’m in charge of 53 students. 53! And some of them are only a couple of years younger than me. I’m the leader of English Club, where I teach English worship songs, meaning that I have to both sing and play the guitar. In front of people. I’m also responsible for the Bible Study we have each week. I’m doing things I never would have thought that I could do. And I do it every day. New challenges, new things that’s way outside my comfort zone. And the strength does not come from me.

“But He said to me: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

2 Cor 12:9