Monday, August 1, 2011

Adventures in Madagascar: Culture Notes, New Experiences, and Some Myths About Roosters

Tomorrow afternoon my team leaves Madagascar. It's so weird to think that this trip has come to an end. I thought I would share some more about our trip by presenting you with three different lists: culture notes, some new experiences of mine, and some myths about roosters.

Culture notes:
1. There's no such thing as personal space. It's not uncommon to fit five people on a seat meant for three on a public bus.
2. Cutting in front of people is not considered rude, nor is staring at people.
3. Women breast-feed in public. It's considered perfectly normal.
4. A matching athletic suit is considered "dressy" because it matches.
5. It's normal to see zebu in the middle of cities, even the capital of Tana. Also, chickens roam every single street.
6. There are no traffic signals or signs, so you basically cross the street whenever you can and hope that cars will stop.
7. Even if you order off of a menu, you never know what you're going to get.
8. Most people walk everywhere, although you don't normally see people jogging for fun/training.
9. Picnicking is very popular here; especially for dates.
10. Whistles, catcalls, and cries of "Bonjour Madame" are normal here.

My New Experiences:
1. Bargaining in another language
2. Malagasy facial mask
3. Swimming in the Indian Ocean
4. Sleeping with a mosquito net
5. Riding a pousse-pousse (a rickshaw)
6. Boarding an airplane from the outside, rather than from an inside terminal.
7. Tasting zebu meat, rabbit meat, octopus, crab, cabbage, jackfruit, and Madagascar sweet potato.

And finally, some myths about roosters.
1. They don't say "cock-a-doodle-doo." It's more like "cock-a-choke-choke."
2. They don't crow only at sunrise. They also crow at 2am, 5am, and all day long.
3. They are not plump, regal looking creatures. They're rather scrawny and ugly. If I were a hen, I wouldn't find them at all attractive. :)

I hope you've enjoyed following along with my adventure in Madagascar. I'll be writing an update from home in a couple of days to let you know how I'm adjusting back to the states. Thanks for all your prayers. I ask for continued prayer for our trip back to the states and for adjusting back to American culture.

In Christ,

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