Well, we just spent the last week in Antsirabe, a town about a 3-4 hour busride south of Tana.
We stayed at a guest house in the country run by a Swiss woman, Betty. Her house had wooden paneling on all the floors, walls, and ceilings, and was thankfully warmer than most cement houses here (and it is very cold in Antsirabe; like, October weather in the Midwest). Betty made us homemade European meals every night, with TONS of homemade bread, cheese, and peanut butter. We ate very well there! She was very sweet and hospitable, and we really enjoyed staying with her. She loved playing Scrabble, especially French scrabble!
To get to ML School (where we held the English clubs) we walked about 10 minutes on a red-dirt road to get to the bus station. We then took a bus into town and once we got off we walked about a block to get to the school. This week the English clubs went really well. The kids loved the crafts, songs, games, and skits. Their favorite song was "King Jesus is All," a repeating song that they would sing throughout the whole day. We split the children into three levels based on English ability. Rachel and I taught the intermediate level; we learned common English phrases of introduction, colors, feelings (and emotions), and family. During the club we enjoyed getting to know our interpreters, Mr. Samson and Mr. Rado (who owns the school), and Mr. Rado's wife, Miss Dina. They would always ask us questions about proper usage of English words and expressions. They were a lot of fun to be around, and a great help in crossing communication barriers with the kids.
While we were there we also taught two adult conversation classes. We were asked all kinds of questions about the United States, including some tricky religious and political questions. We were also able to teach a few concepts, such as the difference in pronunciation between "leave" and "live." It was a very good experience. They taught us a song in Malagasy:
It means Jesus loves the little children, Jesus came from heaven, Jesus loves the little children.
I'll leave you with one more story of the week. One day while we were riding on the bus, the song "God of this City" came on the radio (they play lots of English music here). I don't know why, but it struck me that this song was exactly true; our God is also the God of the people of Madagascar. Whether they know Him or not, He is still at work, He is still in charge, and He has great plans for this nation. It's very encouraging to realize His greatness when faced with the poverty we've been seeing. It's great to realize that He has a plan for each of the children to whome we ministered.
Tomorrow we leave for Toliara at 3am. Pray for rest tonight, continued health for the team, continued energy, continued creativity, and continued hearts of service for each other and for the Lord.