Let me start off by apologizing for any spelling mistakes. I am writing on a french keyboard and I am trying to go fast still.
I do not even know where to start....
My companion is Elder Onyeabor (own-yeah-bore) and he is from Salt Lake. He actually is from Salt Lake/Oregon, but he just says Salt Lake! I will be including a lot of exclaimation marks because it is easier to type than periods. He has been out here a long time, and President Adams is not a fan of the mission lingo so he has put his foot down. He is my trainer, not my dad. We will be together for a minimum of 12 weeks as that is the training programs these days. Then after who knows what is going to happen. He is pretty sure that he is going to leave, and in September when my training ends there are 15 new Elders coming and so he thinks that I might have to train. Talk about a unreal experience!
This is where the first email ended ... the second message ...
I was going to start sending pictures, but this computer is from the stone ages and I dont think has any accessible usb ports. When I say stone ages, I mean it has a floppy drive reader.
FOOD!!! Let us talk about food. So As you know I am a rather picky eater. So here is the situation. On p-day we shop at ShopRite and can get some food. The food is a little pricy, and not American quality. However I can get things like peanut butter. All milk comes in boxes and on the shelf, not in the fridge. I think it tastes horrible, but I put up with it for cereal in the morning. Cereal tastes pretty weird as well. The older elders say that there is one type that is actually quite good, but it is never in stock. The staple of missionaries is of course Sedap. Sedap is like Ramam. I make my Sedap to taste almost exactly like Chicken Raman. We have been told to not eat at the hotely's and the street vendors. We are being pretty obedient to that one. I wouldn't want to anyways because it is all Malagasy food and I have not acquired a taste yet for that. We can get meat and stuff at ShopRite as well. Sometimes we go out to eat at Restaurants because we can! :) We do buy stuff from epeceries on the street like bread and things. A delicious loaf of bread is 300 ariary which is the equivalent of 15 cents. I love buying pasteries because they are way cheap and good. At members homes and the restaurants I have had some interesting things. At one we ate root, I forget the malagasy term for it. It is kinda like a potato, but not really. They are just these big roots that grow in the ground. The main meal of malagasies is rice and lok, and I had that a someones house. The lok is just a topping and it changes all the time for every meal. This one was green beans and sasuage... I ate it, but wasn't in love. I am craving american food. The pizza here is thin crust and not the same. If you have any really simple recipies I would love to have some. I found some in my apartment and I think I am going to go buy the ingredients today for some sweets:) But as far as for a package, american candy is expensive here, and things like boxed brownie mixes, things like that I would enjoy. I am also going to look today for like drink mixes, but if you want to throw those in I would be happy. I have already lost weight I can tell, but I didn't go to the office this morning so I don't know how much I have lost.
Enough on food, I am starving now. So supposedly Tana is like the 2nd dirtiest cities in the world I have heard, but my area is not too bad. The worst area is 67, pronounced soixante sept, which is supposedly the dirtiest place in the world that missionaries work in. I am not there, and kinda glad. The hills kill me though. Supposedly the area I am in is average, but we are always climbing hills. Up and down all day long. I crossed a couple of rice paddies already, and I kinda slipped into one of them. The thin path gave way and my foot slipped in. Didn't feel to good.
Our apartment has a shower with hot water, a washer and dryer, missionaries are among the elite who have them here in Mada, we have a toilet, and so far I have been really good about timing myself to only have to go when I am at home! We have a small kitchen, our stove is run off of gas in a container, we have a filter on our sink for drinking water when we want it, and then we have a big room with 4 beds and 4 desks a tqble, couch, and fireplace. They have before had 6 elders living there and there are rumors of going back to that, which would make it slightly cramped in there.
A few things that bother the heck out of me, and the missionaries eventually get used it, but it bothers me right now. People stare..... A white person means stare at them. Everyone just looks. I get called Vazaha every like 2 minutes zhich meand white foreigner. And since I am a Vazaha that means I speak french. So they say bonjour Vazaha, and then I respond in malagasy, and they still speak french to me most of the time. Vazaha isnt mean, its just what they do. Some people are mean though and say mean things to me, but my companion yells at them, but he wont tell me what they are saying.
Some people asked me what my favorite part is, and it has to be the kids. The kids here are amazing and they love running up to us and giving us Dona's. A dona is a fist bump, and the kids run up to us and climb all over us. I am going to enjoy the kids because this is something you don't get in the US.
So happy belated birthday mom!!! And happy belated 4th!! Both of those days I was a bit trunky. People here have so little, and I have realized how blessed the United States is. I already knew it was, but now it is amazing to me.
Feel free to ask more questions, otherwise I do not always know what to write about!
I love you so so so so so much! I love the United States and the opportunities that we have there.
Until next week,
Elder Scott Weber