Christmas is in the air!!! All around Tana , you can see the streets crowded with sellers and people who are doing their Christmas shopping. The children are really happy to see the different kinds of toys. Some begs their parents to buy them what they like. If the parents can afford it, there’s no problem. But those who are still broke, their kids just have tantrums. It’s really difficult to keep them quiet. For some adults, looking at those toys reminds us of our childhood or just wish that we can become kids again and play with it.
During this time , people like decorating their homes with Christmas trees ( big or small). It’s nice to decorate with beautiful different kinds of ornaments. If you decide to decorate your tree with candies. Don’t be surprised if it disapears little by little.
In this festivity , some likes disguising themselves. As in Santa Claus and roam around the streets to share candies to the children. The children are very happy and excited to see Santa Claus. Some are also terrified of the mask some Santa Clauses wear. The most important is that we can bring joy and put a smile on faces.
This girl is modeling for this artist who draws people’s portraits. This isn’t bad idea to give someone your portrait for a Christmas Gift. It would be different from the presents we usually give. Your family, friends, and love one will be thrilled to have a nice self portrait of you. Wishing everyone a wonderful, joyful and safe and above all FUN “MERRY CHRISTMAS”!!!!!
It’s had been a longtime that we tried to sensitize people to fight against Aids. The message is getting through for some people but others aren’t really convinced how fatal this disease can be. December 1st was the The Worlds Day of Aids. I was invited to attend a movie projection that was organized by The American Embassy at the Ampitheâtre de l’Ecole Normale Superieure, Ampefiloha. The title of the film is ” House on Fire” by Mustapha Khan.
The film talked about how the African- Americans respond to Aids. There were testimonies of victms with Hiv/Aids or their family members that had it. It was so heartbreaking. Here are some of the testimonies:
- A single mother went out with the wrong person and had unsafe sex. She said that she really regretted what she did. It was very difficult to tell her only child that Mama is going to die. What really frightned her is to think about her teen daughter to be left as an orphan in this cruel world.
- Another mother never left her child’s side until the day her daughter died in her arms. The woman said that she was devastated and heartbroken. She felt that a part of her died too.
- A little boy told the sad story that happened to his Mama. He said that he didn’t know what his mother had. It seemed like a very bad flu not like the one he gets. His mother never dared to tell them what was really wrong. The little boy didn’t know the truth til the day his mom died.
- One man hid the truth about his illness to his family and friends during 11 yrs. He was afraid to let anyone to know; because he didn’t want to get rejected and discriminated by society. Finally he decided to join an association with people that has the same case as him. He said that a heavy load came off his shoulders during all these years when he finally accepted and admitted that he had Aids. He was ready to help others like him and sensitize those not victims yet.
- Another man thought that getting Aids will never happen to him. He thought that only homosexual people get it . As a straight person, and father the day he heard that the result was positive. He wanted to commit suicide. He didn’t know how to break the news to his wife and son. The day he told them. He thought they will reject and leave him. Fortunately , they him supported and they became closer as a family than ever.
Watching the people break down in tears while they testified; really was depressing. One Doctor said that :” Aids isn’t a death sentence. You can live with Aids.” She meant that if the person gets tested right away and takes the medecine they should. They have a chance to live a little bit longer and have a normal life.
After the movie , there was a debate about Aids. Most of the people who took part in it; were from different NGO’s associations and doctors. One woman doctor testified that in 1991 , that very ill man came to her for help. He didn’t know what was wrong with him. He did a blood test and was diagonased with Hiv. The man blurted out that he had too many sexual partners in his life. He has dated around 11 people ( males and females) during a year.
Even if we still have a low Aids rate here in Madagascar. Most of the people who does the blood test are those who are already sure that they’re probably aren’t contaminated. But those who don’t do it ; have doubts about their health. And afraid to learn the truth.
We should continue to sensitize people in town and the countryside, so the rate won’t raise…..
The “Famadihana” is one of the Malagasy customs which I love the most of all festivities. Each person has their own definition of the famadihana . Some say that it’s the turning of the bones of the dead (ancestors) and others say that it means to remove the remains of the dead body to another place. For me, Famadihana means the best moment when the entire family from far or near to gather together. Having the chance to know the other huge family members. This prevents the close family from marrying each other; in case they meet in another place or country. Sharing the latest news between the families. It’s also the remembrance of our dead loved ones that is buried inside of the cold family tombs.
I can say that I was very lucky to be able to have the chance to attend the Famadihana many times in my life. I’d like to share my personal experience. I went to my countryside in Ambatolampy; more precisley near Tsiafajavona Ankaratra. I was really excited about it. I didn’t notice the uncomfortable car ride and dusty road. This exhumation ceremony ” Famadihana” requires alot of preparation; and alot of money saving too.
First of all; the family needs to gather and decide on a special date to do the Famadihana. They need to see a “Mpanandro” or astrologer to choose the right date and prepare the ancestors about the exhumation. This is very important because if we don’t do this. Alot of things might go wrong. Usually, the Famadihana lasts about three days. There were so many activities that occurred those days. I remembered that they killed a huge” zebu”. It was a sad thing to see the animal die that way. After eating the ” vary be menaka” or fat rice. You totally forgotten what happened to it. We call it fat rice , because after pouring the fatty beef on top of the rice. It gives the rice an oily and fatty look. It’s delicious!!!! Nothing special mixed with it. I ate half a bucket; it was a great. How can I forget the wonderful performance of the “Mpihira gasy” which is a group of people who sing Malagasy traditional songs. It’s so different from the kind of music you hear in the city. They’re not only singing but in their songs are alot of ” Anatra” as us Malagasy people call it. By listening to them ; we can learn alot of wise teachings. I like also watching the “Mpihaingo” which are some young single girls; dressed in the countryside outfits; with the red blushes on their cheeks. Yes; a nice countryside fashion show. What really impresses me is little and young talented boy who dance in a very different way. When the spectators are satisfied they throw money or coins on the ground. By the end of the show the Mpihira gasy’s hats are filled with money.
As we know it’s the eldest or the head of the family and other members have to go and announce the family’s visit to the family tomb. Even if our ancestors are dead; we still believe that they can hear us. That’s why we can’t just go there and open up the tomb. There are some rituals that must be done. They go there very early in the morning; the Astrologer will call the ancestors’ attention , preparing them to make sure the corpse will be easily recognized for the shroud renewal. At the end of the speech , the visitors took some “Toaka gasy” which is a Malagasy made alcoholic beverage. They share it with the dead by pouring some on the tomb. The special moment came when all the close relatives of the dead or of all family members, sang and danced on their way to the tomb; not forgetting the national flag. When we finally arrived , they started to dig. As it was the exhumation of my grand father. I dared to enter the tomb. We had to crawl in a underground hole to get the corpse. I wasn’t terrified to be surrounded by corpses. Each dead was placed in a corner of his own shelf. Some of their shrouds were already torn. What I saw was decayed bodies and bones. It made me more curious to get a closer look. So this is how us human beings look like after death. What I couldn’t support was the atmosphere inside; which was very hot and suffocating. I couldn’t stay long. The men took out the corpses with the mat calling each one by their names. The close relatives carry the corpses around the tomb seven times at the rythm of a Malagasy folk song. So the women in the families; wrapped the corpses with the new shrouds. We can’t get rid of the old ones; because if we do the remains of the corpse will be everywhere. And that’s not easy to gather.
So before the sunset ; the astrologer makes a thanking note moves on a special ritual of locking the tomb.
Nowadays; as life seems more difficult. Only a few Malagasy people still do this exhumation ceremony. Some doesn’t do it because its against their religion. Whether we celebrate it or not, never forget that it’s our custom. Which makes us different from our countries. As Malagasy; I’m very proud to be able to have the chance and honor to celebrate this great festivity ” Famadihana”.
In life , when we do something it’s very important to have self- control. That day i committed the biggest mistake of my life. Like most men I’m nuts crazy about 3 things in life: women, alcoholic beverages and meat. It was a Sunday afternoon, me and my beloved bottle of ” Toaka gasy” which is a strong made malagasy alcoholic drink. I didn’t really care about my family and never was there for them. I’d never entered my home sober. I enjoyed beating my wife and kids. I’d like the feeling being dominant in my life. I love also the seaside; just laying on the hot sand and gulping down the love of my life. The heat made me drunker. Everything I looked at became blurry. I noticed something approaching me from the sea. It seemed to be a very beautiful half naked lady.
” Sir, I’m very thirsty , may I please have some of your drink?” she asked me.
I gave her a good look and my bottle of joy.” I’ll give anything else except this!” the man said pointing at his bottle. But the women kept begging him to give her some. The man started losing his patience, and tried to get up. It was a bit difficult to maintain his balance and think clear.
“Shut up women , get out of that water and try to get my bottle if you can.” he yelled.
” I can’t Sir, I’m not allowed to leave the water. I don’t have a feet like you. Only to move in the sea, not on land. Please give me some.”
The man lost his temper , took his bottle and hit the woman’s head while saying:” Here it is , if you want it!!”
Her head cracked open ; blood was gushing out. The man panicked and carried her to land. The man was shocked to see that this woman was a mermaid not human. He listened to her heart, which was faint.The woman told him in a weak voice:” What’ve you done to me is unforgivable. You better listen well and follow what I say. Take me back home , but you can’t go by any means of transport except walking. Where you should bury me , it will take you 3 weeks to get there by foot. Becareful not to follow ; what I say. And when you go back home. Don’t be surprised if you’re entire family and relatives perish one by one!!”
My drunkness cleared up quick as I thought it would. I slowly picked her up and carried her on my shoulders. I left right away ; not evening telling my family where I was going. The journey wasn’t easy, and I had to go through alot of obstacles. The smell of the corpse was unbearable. The amazing part was that no one had noticed what I was bringing. After a few weeks , I finally arrived at the place, and buried the dead mermaid. There’s nothing left to do , just go back home.
Weeks passed and the mermaid’s curse did occur. All of my family and relatives died one by one without a cause. At the end I was the only one left. I tried to have girlfriends but it didn’t work. I learned my lesson in life: you need to think before reacting!!” The only thing I can do now is crouch near my family’s graves weeping. Watch my tears fall on the ground and ask them to forgive me , for my stupidness and not being a role model as a husband and father.
Here are some more of JIIN‘s watercolor paintings. The paintings already talk for themselves. If you walk around in the streets , you can see other interesting paintings as his. It’s not easy to create a work of art like this. It takes time and passion, and above all inspiration.
* Here we have a nice painting of the Ring tailed Lemur.
* Here is “Andrianampoinimerina” or “The-King-in-the-Heart-of-Imerina”, born as Rambo.salama or Ramboasalamarazaka, nicknamed Nampoina, Imboasalama, or Ny Ombalahibemaso “The-Big-Eyed-Bull”
* The Mpihira Gasy giving a dance demonstration
* A man making the famous “Mofo gasy” which is a Malagasy bread;made from a batter of sweetened rice flour that is poured into greased circular molds and cooked over charcoals.
* A man going home with his
* The little happy school boy holding his new satchel
*A man going back home with his zebu – drawn wagon
* A typical Malagasy woman piggy backing her child and holding the other one
*A strong young fisherman in his dugout canoe in the evening
*A young man trying to see who’s stronger and smarter him or the zebu
* A cock fight , whether you gain alot of money or lose all you have. Betting , which is the strongest cock
* A mother breast feeding her child.
* A dugout canoe left by it’s owner
Watercolor is a painting method and its traditional and most common support for watercolor painting is paper. There are other supports too , we can use. The paintings we see above are painted by a young Malagasy man, not well known by people. His nickname as seen in the paintings, is JIIN. There are some people who paints as a living. But for JIIN , it’s his passion and talent. The greatest pleasure for him is just seeing people admiring his art , and not really for the money. He prefers showing the Malagasy life in his work of art. We’re going to comment each paintings:
* In the first painting, we can see people happily watching the ” Mpihira gasy” ( group of people who sing and dance the Malagasy traditional music). Usually, we can find the Mpihira gasy during the ” Famadihana” ( which is the turning of the bones of the dead. ) It’s a very special moment for a family gathering and giving respect to the ancestors.
* This is the ” Moraingy” , when two strong and young men wrestle each other. They want to prove to the spectators which of them is the best and strongest.
* A woman in the countryside, who had just fetched a pail of water in the river. She carries it on her head while she piggybacks her child.
* The weather is burning hot , the man is struggling to pull his rickshaw loaded with sacks of rice and other goods, up the hill.
* The woman is at the river , trying to catch some fishes to eat with their rice for the family meal.
* The Malagasy people’s famous artist Philibert RABEZONA well known as” RAKOTOFRAH” who was born between 1920 and 1925 at Ankadinandriana – Antananarivo. He was very talented in playing the “sodina” , which is a flute made from bamboo.
* An empty Wagon near a traditonal Malagasy home. These are zebus – drawn vehicles.
* Rice is the principal food for us Malagasy people. When the rice is still covered by the brown hull is known as paddy. The rice is threshed to loosen the hulls—mainly by flailing, treading, or working in a mortar—and winnowed free of chaff by tossing it in the air above a sheet or mat. That’s what the man is doing up above.
* The man is taking a rest near his rickshaw after a hard long day of work, after bringing goods or people.
* The zebus are being very stubborn , so the owner has to hit them with a stick to make them go.
We think that items “made from Madagascar” are bad which is wrong.
Malagasy people are very talented and creative in handcrafting. Those pictures you see, are just samples. It’s amazing how they can use different kind of materials and create it into something very beautiful. Some tourists just come here to buy the Malagasy handicraft to sell abroad which is very expensive.
We have alot of shops. It’s very aweing to enter those places , and especially to enjoy the wonderful sight of all those hand made art.
It’s a pride to know that people from all over the world are taking pleasure in our handicrafts. There’s someone that I know who just came all the way here to bring back alot of “souvenirs” from Madagascar. She wanted to design her house in a malagasy style.
As I was walking in Analakely , I noticed a very black smoke. I went to join the other people to see what was happening. Today October 22nd 2008, there was a house on fire at Soarano. Everyone was just standing around it, waiting for the firefighters to come. This isn’t the first time , we had houses on fire like this. The problem is that by the time the fire truck; comes mostly the house is already into ashes. The cause of the fire , was that a child played with a lighter. But usually it is the other causes are of short circuit or just carelessness. The firefighters had difficulty putting it off but the crowd didn’t allow them to do their work. So they had to deal more with the crowd than the fire. There is a saying that ” Curiosity killed the cat.” In certain situation it isn’t always good to watch. Especially coming to close. There was also difficulty because the water they used was just gushing out. People were happy to see the flow of water in the street. Some actually stood there to wash there feet or took buckets to get water. I bet; some had this great too to take a bath there too. It was a pathetic sight. By that we can see that our firefighters aren’t really professionals yet. In crowds like that , the people who pickpocket are very happy. They take advantage of situations like that to earn money or something they didn’t sweat for. For the people it’s just another exciting event to watch , but for the owner of the house, it’s nothing but a great loss .
As I walk in the street , it’s really a sad view to see the destituted people. Every where turn you can see them everywhere; sleeping on the sidewalk; under the tunnel; lying on the grass. Having those kind of people is the sign of poverty in a country. In a way, it ruins the image of the place. Especially, when tourists would like to visit our country. I know everywhere , you can see homeless people. It’s not a surprising thing to see; anymore. It also causes insecurity ; especially at night. Each of those people have reasons how they became like that . Some said that they were very rich before and didn’t care about the future. They spent alot of money and became bankrupt. Some said that they were cursed by their ancestors to beg for money. Others maybe were orphans or just don’t want to work. As I see; that most of the parents use their children to beg for money. They think that the people will feel sorry for these children and give them money right away. The more children they have means the more money they can get. We can call those street children; which has a very different mentality and manners. You can see a little 5 yrs old girl say all the cuss words in the book. Mostly everyone don’t give money except to those people who have a physical handicap. Everyone should try to make their lives better. It doesn’t mean that if you’re very poor; you’ll stay like that forever. You need to struggle in life to have a better life and become a better person. Nothing is free in life. To succeed , you need to sweat.
A special thanks to a certain catholic priest Father Pedro; who had lived here for along time to help the homeless of Madagascar. He had built a school; church; and given home and land for them to farm. What he did for our country is very courageous and wonderful. He knows that the government already have other matters to manage; and they can’t really focus specifically on the destituted people. He tried his best to do whatever , he can to help our people. Thank you Father Pedro for your kind heart; good will and above all giving the malagasy destituted people to have a second chance in life.
Personally ; I pity and admire the destituted people. I feel sorry for them because they suffer alot in all ways. I admire them because, no matter what happens to them they never give up living. For us, when we have a problem either we commit suicide or become crazy. Don’t think that those people have nothing to worry about. They do , as we do too. All of us; are human beings ; we feel pain; hunger, joy; sorrow. They know more about the value of life then we do. They’ll never end their life. They’ll keep on living ; hoping one day the sun will shine on them. By seeing the way, they live. It teaches us alot of things in life. How we’re ungrateful, selfish , and knowing less the advantages we have in life; compared to them. We can’t put those very poor people down. They have their values too.
It’s difficult to judge a person by their physical appearance. The best way is to get to know them better. They can be the total opposite of the person, that we thought they’ll might be. There is something that i’d like to share with you that really shocked and upsetted me. I know this couple who has a formation center in town. When you look at them, they seemed to be very nice, God- fearing, simple people. Unfortunately, they’re are the wolf disguised as a sheep. When they hire a maid, it’s always a underaged little girls. Once they had this maid who was only 15 yrs old, who had to do everything and take care of their 8 month baby too. This maid always followed them to work, to take care of the baby. During the lunch hour, they take the baby and leave the maid at the office. We asked her aren’t you going to eat too. She just shooked her head and said when they want to give me food that’s when I eat. There are times , I even go to sleep with an empty stomach. They treated her like that all the time. At the end the child couldn’t support it anymore. She told them that she wanted to go back home to her parents. They didn’t care. They kicked her out hardly giving her any money. So this wicked couple had to find another victim to be there slave. The women went all the way to Antsirabe , and came back with a 13 yrs old little girl. So the same treatement repeated again. One day, the women became very angry and threw water at the maid and beated her. I guess, that’s wasn’t enough to show her anger. They kicked the maid out the house, at night. The little girl was a stranger in this big town . The only place she knew was Analakely. She slept on the stairway of Ambondrona during the whole night. In the morning, someone who worked in the same building as her boss, recognized her. The person took the child directly to the police station and put a complaint. The police immediately, went to the office of her boss to search for the couple. There weren’t there at that time. They didn’t want to be humiliated for the thoughtless thing they did , so they bribed the child with alot of money. That’s when everything was easily finished.
I was furious when I heard about what they did to those little children. It was them who told us, how much they suffer working for those people. I’m very sensitive about mistreatment of people and animals. Good gracious! they were only kids. Even though they did something wrong at least punish them humanly. Not to torture or make them suffer like that. How could this couple just eat and let the maid starve to death? How could they sleep peacefully in their bed at night, while the little girl is roaming around in the danger of the night? That’s a proof that they are cruel and heartless people. They have two very young children of their own . What if one day, someone treated their children like that? How would they feel?
Don’t forget that if we do good in life. Good things come back to us. If we do bad things to other people. It will come back thousand times worser, then what you did. We also have to put an end to this kind of Child labor and modern slavery!!!
As an English teacher , I really like my job. Especially seeing the students, trying their best to speak a language that’s not their native tongue. Today, was a special day for us because it was the “Speech presentation”. We had a great discussion after each speech. One of my student had a very interesting topic about ” How to become a Vegetarian”. It really opened up my eyes , and made me rethink about my eating habits. I’d like to share some of it with you that I found very interesting.
Vegetarianism is the practice of a diet that excludes all meat, including poultry, fish,and shellfish. There are alot of advantages of being a vegetarian like: a reduced risk of obesity, coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, and kidney disease. I don’t know about you? but I certainly don’t want to get those diseases. It’s really scary thinking about it. Eating meat can give us all of that. Here are some famous people who are vegetarians as: Albert Einstein, Avril Lavigne, Brad Pitt, Immanuel Kant,…. etc. I also want to share with you reasons why people became vegetarians. Some say: “I became a vegetarian for morality, because I refuse and can’t support the exploitation and suffering of all animals, so I prefer not to eat it.”; “I became vegetarian for religion because it’s a taboo , and forbidden in our religion to eat meat. For us animal is like human.”; “I became a vegetarian because we don’t need meat.”; I became a vegetarian because I was told about what happens to meat in the gut. It stays there for ages and rots, getting infected with bacteria.”
I’m not a vegetarian . After hearing this student speech, I realized the bad sides of eating meat. There are other foods , we can replace it with. What really got to me, is thinking about those poor animals we kill just to eat. I know, I know, that those animals were meant to be killed to eat. Put yourself in their place. Would you like to be defenseless , not being able to speak and defend yourself? Being slaughtered, maybe wanting to live a long life too! It makes me feel bad and guilty thinking about that. Another student told us, that in his countryside there was a butcher, who had the habit slaughtering cows. When you kill a cow, by cutting their neck. It makes this loud noise of suffrance, before it dies. Well, this butcher the day on his death bed. He made the same noise cows did when they die. I got goose bumps , when I heard that. Another student told a testimony, telling us about , how she almost died eating meat. She had a problem digesting it, so she couldn’t go to the toilet for a week. She had this terrible and painful abdominal pain. She didn’t even eat alot of meat, just a little. Her doctor told her to quite eating it, and to eat alot of fruits and vegetable.
If you already have the bad habit of eating meat. I’m not saying , you should suddenly become a vegetarian to live longer and stay younger. It’s not good to eat it , every day. Why not just twice a week and vary the food you eat. The worst type of meat is the red meat( beef, pork). There is also the white meat
( fish, chicken,..). We have certain places that sell cooked meat, that would make you want to drool of hunger. But , don’t you know that you’re putting your health in risk eating this meat. I think that us, humans can live a healthier and better life without eating meat. Drinking alot of water per day is also very important. We can live 2 weeks without eating , but we can’t live a few days without water.
Think about it. Maybe being a vegetarian isn’t a bad idea anyway. Give it a try and you can do it. Not eating meat , won’t kill you. The total opposite, you’ll live longer , look and feel better.
Tuesday, is one of those days that people don’t like. Some say, it’s not good to plan or do something on this day. For me, i think that when a bad day comes , it’ll come. I live at Ankatso, where the University is located. As I watch those university students leave the gate. I wonder to myself ; what are they thinking and especially hoping to become one day. Frankly, speaking I think sometimes it’s a waste of time and money studying in the university here in Madagascar. You spent so many years , learning a certain subject. But , what becomes of you after. That’s the question. I’ll give you the answer. In general ; Nothing! You wake up very early in the morning to start school at 6 a.m and don’t leave there until 6 p.m; working very hard during more than 4 years. What’s the result. A tired body , mind and jobless. Why. Because most of the companies ; especially here in “Tana” , don’t like hiring amateurs to work for them. They need people , who has more than 2 or 3 years of work experience; and even 10 years. Dream on! If I had a 10 yrs experience in a job, I’ll never leave it until i retire. Abroad , it’s possible to study and work at the same time. Here, that’s still a delicate subject. Most employers want someone who can work full time for them; not just part time. Let me tell you a true story that happened to a family member of mine.
Aina had just graduated from one of the most famous Tourism school in town. She had a chance to do some job training in certain hotels. She always wanted to work in those travel agency. Once she saw a job offer in the newspaper and decided to apply for the job. After a week ; she got a job interview. It was the manager of the travel agency that ; she had a chance to talk with. He had the nerve to tell her that there’s already a long waiting list of candidates wanting to apply for this position. But if she really wanted the job, she has to give him about more than 5.000.000 mfg. Well; Aina was really eager to work. She forced her parents to sell all their lands in the countryside and their other wealth. The parents wanted their child to succeed in life, so they accepted to do it. When she got all the money gathered, she went directly back to the man. He wasn’t there that day, so she left it with the receptionist. Days passed but the man didn’t call her yet. Finally, Aina decided to call him. He told her that she took long to give the money and the position was given to another person. She told him to give her back the money. The manager told her that there was no written proof that she gave him money. Even if Aina wanted to sue him ; she couldn’t because there was no written proof and witness. That day , her entire world shattered. Her family became very poor and she stayed jobless.
Until now, corruption is still a very serious problem here in Madagascar. Although there’s a special Organization to prevent and fight against it. Corruption will never disappear. As those who has the habit of doing and receiving it. They said it’s the quickest and easiest way to get money. I think it’s the most filthiest and innoble way to squeeze money out of people.
It’s also a way that prevent one country from developing, and a deviation to reach poverty. Don’t we realize that the reasons people want to work, is to get money. We need to work first before earning money. That’s really pathetic and stupid to ask the candidate for a job money !
Here ; we really need to change the mentality in order to progress in life. But if this continues, we’ll get nowhere……..
The weather is very annoying. Personally, I don’t like drizzly weathers. It’s not really cold or either hot, it’s the type of climat that makes you easily sick. I just got off from work and went to the bus stop. I really, prefer walking , but where I live it seems pretty far. Here, in the capital ” Tana”, we have this traffic jam problem. I hate being stuck in traffic, sometimes i wish I could just jump out the window and walk home. We don’t have that much cars , compared to abroad. I guess, it’s our narrow roads that causes it.
I entered the bus, and actually found an empty seat at the back. There are many other reasons why people hate taking the bus. Once , I had to sit next to a man, who probably doesn’t know what the word “water” means. He was very stinky and filthy. He looked very relaxed, not disturbed at all. I’m almost suffocated. I wanted to move to another chair , but there were no more empty places. The driver’s aid made the smell worse, with his armpit smell. My window didn’t budge to open. It was still another 20 minutes to get my place. I thought that day, I was going to die. Imagine in the newspaper , that a young woman died in a bus , because of terrible odors.
Well, I had a very frightful experience. As i said the place next to me was still empty, when a woman walked in holding her baby and sat next to me. I love children, especially seeing their little happy faces. What really surprised me, was that the woman wrapped her child in alot of cloth. I couldn’t even see the child’s face and feet. It was certainly a child, because it’s little feet in baby shoes. I asked the woman isn’t the child hot. She just shooked her head and bowed. I forgot to mention that across us, there was another woman playing with her 4 yrs old daughter. The little girl was very happy playing with her mommy. But, when this woman with the baby entered. The little 4 yrs old, suddenly became strangely quiet and started to fidget. Her mother had problems keeping her still, if she was afraid of something.
As I continue , practically during the ride. The woman with the baby was completely silent. I was thinking that was one good baby, just sleeping not crying. She dropped her purse and bent to get it. That was when the child’s feet touched my arm. I suddenly , had this strange feeling, of coldness. The woman gave me a frightful look; Iike I discovered something or what.
She started to cry and tell me that she just gave birth 2 days ago at a famous public hospital. She was poor and didn’t have the money to buy medicine for the baby who suddenly became sick. At this hospital, if you can’t buy the medicines you need, it means you’re waiting for death. They don’t care about the person’s situation. So her baby died, and this woman didn’t have money to take him back home. She lived at Ambatofotsy , which is very far from town. Taking a taxi to those places , will cost a fortune. Now, she’s going to her sister’s house at Ambohipo; to take her child. I was heartbroken and terrified at the same time, thinking about this woman carrying her dead baby around.
The driver’s Aid, was very angry and started to yell at the woman, and forced her out the bus. He said, that she did something very taboo, about letting a dead be among the living. The poor woman just left the bus, not wanting to cause anymore trouble.
I always remembered that after a funeral or visiting a person who had a death in the family. Before , being buried the family leaves the corpse in their home. So all the family and friends can see him or her for the last time. When it’s time to go home , especially after a funeral. We have to take a bath or wash up really good. Before, entering our homes, we must light some papers at the front door and step over it. We believe by doing that all the bad , is left behind us.
I really had a weird day today. Anyway, I think it’s necessary in life to have a little excitement from the everyday life….
In general the City life is the same. In the street, you see people always in a rush to reach their destination. Their faces mostly worried or frowning. It’s really obvious that life really stresses them out. All they could think of is finding money to survive in this world. The pollution and heavy traffic jams practically everyday, and the high – priced life. For 12 yrs old girl Misa and her brother Tony , they had other worries than that. They lived an entire different life.
“I wish that woman will hurry up and throw it away. She’s just standing there , gossiping with that other woman. My stomach is growling .” Tony complained.
“ We have to be patient. Do you know what today is?”his sister asked him.
“Nope!” Tony replied staring non stop at the woman near the trash bin.
“It’s father’s day. Since yesterday, I heard people talking about buying gifts for their dad.”Misa sighed.
“They can do whatever they want . Who cares! She’s finally gone.” Tony quickly went to pick through the woman’s garbage.
Misa just looked at her brother sadly who was tearing the plastic bag open.
“Come here! Aren’t you starved? There’s no leftover here, not even a crumb of bread. Just waste papers and alot of potato peels. I guess, there’s no choice then to munch on these. Darn it, i wasn’t lucky today like yesterday. I found a burnt piece of steak and rice mixed with alot of fish bones and a stale bread. For me , it was a feast. It’s not bad after all, kind of tastes funny. Do you want some potato peels?” he asked his sister.
Misa shook her head and said:” Life is so unfair. Here we are stuffing ourselves with people’s waste. While they are eating alot of delicious foods at home. When they look at us, all they see are dirty, stinky, uneducated , people. When we come near them, they just push us away and tell us not to touch them because our hands are to filthy. Once , i passed by a store and heard the song of Phil Collins titled “Another day in paradise.” That song was talking about how people treat the destitutes like us. It made me realize that , we’re considered like burdens and a nothing for the society. I really miss our parents. Even if we have to live like this , at least as a family. But there’s only you and me left in this cruel world.”
“Misa, you and mom never talked about Dad. Where is he? What happened to him and why did he leave us?” the little boy asked curiously.
“I knew that one day, you’ll ask me that question. He’s in a great place now, where there’s no more sorrow, tears , pains and worries. I know that he’s very happy where he is now. You need to worry about him. He’s in good hands. It wasn’t his intention to leave us alone. This is what really happened to him.
One day I was very ill, and he told me that we have no money to buy medecine. He told us that he’ll try to find food to make me better. It was a Wednesday, the market day. There were alot of people there going back and forth through huge market. Mom and I decided to follow him there, even though i was very weak. We saw Dad go inside the market. After , a few minutes , we heard people making alot of noise and shouting things like: “Teach this thief a good lesson , so he won’t steal anymore!”
Dad replied in a small voice: “My daughter is very ill and I just wanted to bring her back these oranges to give her energy. Please, I didn’t mean any harm.”
The orange seller shouted:” That’s a lie, don’t believe him. If there’s no police around let’s take justice ourselves.”
Another man yelled!: “The only thing that you filthy people know is to rob us and our homes. You just create insecurity for the society. You’re too lazy to work, so you just beg.”
“ I won’t do it again, I promise:” Dad pleaded, but they didn’t listen to him. They beated and kicked him inhumanly. They didn’t stop until he didn’t budge anymore. We wanted to shriek but didn’t dare not wanting to make the situation worse. There was Dad lying in a his own pool of blood motionless. Mom and I were heartbroken , but we didn’t know what to do. We just stood there watching two men picking up Dad and throwing his body in a car like it was a body of a dead dog. The car left , leaving us shocked. That was the last moment we saw Dad. His death had been really hard on our mother. You were still a little baby then. She died of a bad heartache. I was obliged to be your mother and sister at the same time. Please , don’t cry Tony. little brother , you’re the only one I have left in this world. Promise me, that you’ll always be by myside and never leave me alone in this unfair world.”
“I promise that one day we’ll leave this darkness and see the light in our lives.” They hugged each other tightly.
The life was always the same routine for the two siblings. Hoping to find a bite to eat in dumps, begging for money, being pushed around by people, and sleeping on cold sidewalks or under the tunnel for warmth.
“Tony, let’s get out of here. People are just stepping all over us. Wake up!” She said shaking her little brother. He kust layed there groaning not wanting to move.
“ My belly hurts , let’s stay here.” He whispered.
“Are you all right. I noticed that you were different lately, kind of losing your appetit. What wrong? What did you eat?” she asked worriedly.
“I found a chunk of meat , that someone threw near the trash bin. And I ate it. Since then I started to vomit blood and even in my poops.”he said in a low voice.
Misa was panicked: “Oh my gosh! I heard people talking about getting rid of the stray dogs who might endanger people if they have rabies . You ate a poisoned meat!”
Tony didn’t answer and just layed there.
“ You can’t die, Tony! I need you. You can’t leave me alone! You can’t break your promise! Listen to me.” Misa said , sobbing really hard. She saw blood come out her brother’s mouth. She knew that he was gone for good when he didn’t reply. Misa stood up and layed her old worn out sweater to cover his body and left him there. Her world shattered , not knowing what to do or where to hide. She was absolutely , terrified of everything that was around her. She found a huge tree and hide behind it until the morning.
“ Hey! Little girl, wake up.” A woman told her.
Misa was still traumatized and didn’t really understand what the woman was telling her. She just followed obediently until they reached a brick house. During the way, the woman was really grouchy. Nothing made her happy.
To be continued…………..
As I lay on my bed, glaring out the window in how suddenly the weather can change. This morning , when I opened it up to let some fresh air enter my bedroom. It seemed to be such a lovely weather. The sky was blue and the sun shining so brightly. Now , all I see, is the gray sky and a downpour. “Ouch! There it goes again. Always annoying me, practically driving me out of my mind. I can’t do anything about it, now that this “thing” is a part of me now. I have to accept it as a friend even though it’s my greatest enemy. “ Ok!Ok! , I get your point , just stay still. I’ll get you something to eat later.” For a single guy like me, I already have two mouths to feed, which isn’t an easy job. I can’t work hard and earn alot like I used to because I don’t have the energy and the will anymore. I was a very skilled business man. Actually, I did my own business about selling precious gemstones. Now, I lost alot of money and almost half bankrupt . Since this incident occured, my life never been the same again . There’s no choice left then to be this “Thing’s” slave. Always making sure to satisfy it’s needs. So if I don’t it will cost me my life. I’m too young to die, even if my wonderful future already blowed up in my face. How can I forget that day, when I rosed above higher than the seventh heaven and fell down ending up at the bottom pit of hell. Yes , Damien Mino was the man on top of the world. Well-known as Mr.Good-looking, intelligent, athletic, wealthy, and famous. All of that just vanished in a wink of an eye. Retelling my story to people really worns me out. The only reason I do it is just to warn other naive fools like me.
I’m a fanatic about music, especially going to those kind of places where they play music so loud. I always go to the night clubs on the Terrific Friday. Here ,we call our Fridays that because , most people need to find a way to relax after a long and hard work days. I like sitting at the bar stool and , watching those young women trying hard to move every part of their body. What a fascinating sight. They all dress so differently. Some barely wearing clothes that can cover their intimate body parts and others trying to look modest as possible. The barmaid already knows my order, she doesn’t even bother to ask me anymore. I was there sucking in the smoky and sweaty atmosphere. It’s not good for the health , but who cares? As long as I feel happy and at home. The place was crowded, not like usual. I was looking around the place to see if I knew anyone, then suddenly my attention was caught by prettiest girl i’d ever seen in my life. Women are so beautiful and like fire. When you come to close , you might get burned up to your ashes or be able to cool them off. I mean , she was goddess with her long wavy black hair , slim body and luscious lips. What a marvel! Yes, these daughter’s of Eve. They really know how to tempt us weak men. She was sitting there on the couch, smiling at me. I couldn’t control myself. She was like a magnet.
“Hi there, my name is Damien , is there anyone sitting here?” he asked the young pretty lady.
“No, please have a seat.”She answered.
There was something about that girl. She seemed kind of distant but very charming. As for my job, I travel around alot in my country Madagascar. Vohemar is my favourite place to visit. The landscape is breathlessly amazing. The people are very nice and communicative.
“What’s your name? You look pretty young to be here.”
“People call me Aline. I’m only 18 yrs old. Are you married?”the girl asked.
“ Not for now, do you want to drink something ? ”
“No thanks, can you take me home.”she asked.
“ Already? We’re just beginning to know each other. What about if we go somewhere else?”
Aline agreed and they left the nightclub. I didn’t take Aline back to her place , right away, so we decided to go to a little hotel near by.
We were tearing each others clothes off. I never seen such a sexy naked body. My body started to tingle all over . I was so hard , that I was afraid I might hurt this girl. We layed on the bed. At my surprise , she was on top of me before I knew it.
Wow the girl was riding on me, I felt like the happiest man horse in the world. I told her to slow down, but she kept moving faster. I was so thrilled, I didn’t know what to do. What a sensation. I couldn’t move for awhile, I thought I died of pleasure.
“Take me back with you.” Aline said lying by my side.
“ Honey, I can’t . I’m not ready to get engaged. Here is some money and go back home.”
I got dressed and left the girl lying there all disappointed.
“Damien, you can’t just leave like that. My boy friend is a very jealous type. So he put a
“ Fiandry” on me . Aline yelled after him.
“Shut up, you’re just trying to scare me with that bullshit.”
“ Believe it or not , you’ll see.”she told him angrily.
After a day, I did notice that something was changing in my body. One morning, as I layed on my bed , I saw something move under the covers. I was afraid to look but I had no choice. My “ male pride” turned into a snake. Yes, the “thing” started to bite my thighs. I totally freaked out. I heard of other guys victims of these kind of things. But I never thought it would be me.
I ordered food to feed it. It took awhile for the order to come. The penisnake was getting nasty, I guess it was starved. I got dressed quickly and went to back to the nightclub, where I met the girl. Asking the guardian wasn’t a big help. He just told me that , I might find her at the market. It wasn’t really a big place , so everyone practically knew each other.
I saw her at the market holding hands with a guy.
“ You, witch!” I yelled to her.
The guy who must be her boy friend, just laughed and sayed : “ That will teach you a lesson not to mess with my girl.”
“ How much do you want? Take this gruesome thing away from me.”
“ Too late , it’s your companion for life now.” The guy said.
The girl kept silent but looked very pleased at my sorrow. I had to do something , and the first thing was to go to any “Mpimasy” to heal me. Someone at the market told me about Ramahatoko, the famous mpimasy who knows how to heal those kind of witchcraft.
The man’s house was dark and spooky. He was sitting on the floor and playing with some kinds things that look like beans and chanting something.
He just stared at me and said : I can’t help you.”
I knew what he was waiting for and I took some money out of my pocket and gave it to him.
I sat on the floor next to him, waiting for what will happen next.
“ You only have to follow what I say and you’ll be healed.”
I nodded in agreement.
“ You have to choose between these two things: give me all of your fortune. I mean everything you have. You can’t take nothing with you and you’ll become a homeless person. All the people , you know will recognize you. You will be humiliated in society. You’ll be digging through trash to find your food. Or you live with that thing for the rest of your life until it eats you alive.”Rahamahatoko said to the desperate man.
I just walked out the door in silence. I can’t imagine myself living in such poverty. Especially to be an outcast for my friends and society.
I never saw Aline and her boy friend anymore. I had no choice but to go back home and live my miserable life. I’ve been with “Penisnake” it’s the name I gave it; for months now. It became my pet and just another part of me. I can’t live a normal life anymore, so just Penisnake and I living together until death do us apart.
My job allows me to travel alot, especially around my beloved country Madagascar. It’s not great to leave my family behind, but I have no choice. We were just a group of 6 people, heading towards a pretty far countryside , near Mananjary.
” Nina , aren’t you excited about this trip. I never been so far from home.” José told her.
” In a way , I am. I really miss my children though.” she sighed. The road was really dusty and the car was absolutely uncomfortable.
“Why did the car suddenly stop, we haven’t even reached our destination yet?.” José asked their driver.
” Sorry, guys but we got a flat tire, I guess we have to walk by foot.” the driver told them.
” Yeah, right. I’m not gonna kill myself walking for miles in high heel shoes.” Nina complained.
” You don’t have a choice, i’m sure there’s a village near by. Come on , before it gets late. We better go look for help.” the driver told them.
Everyone obediently left the car and started walking, until they found a little village. The village people didn’t look happy to see these bunch of strangers coming towards them. It was a good thing that José knew their dialect, so it kind of relaxed them. They had been traveling since 6 am in the morning , and felt worned out. There weren’t any hotels there, so they had to stay in the village people’s homes. The weather was unbearably hot. The little huts infested with little blood sucking insects like ticks. Nina wanted to leave right away, wishing that she was back home in her comfortable home. It was sad to see such poverty. The village had to walk far to fetch water to drink in a little lake. At the same time , their zebus go there to drink and piss. Women also wash their laundries in the same water.
“Nina, come here, I want to tell you something. I think we came during a bad moment. The woman huddling near the door , just lost her husband.”
“But, José, she seems very poor and depressed. Why is she sitting there and her neighbors not comforting her?” Nina asked.
“They already know. I think they’re getting ready for the funeral.”
“Really, but no one is busy preparing it. It seems that everyone is just staying where they are and not doing anything about it.”
“I know, as you see this woman is very poor. It a great humiliation to be very poor and have someone die in your family. No one cares about you. Even your family members don’t want to bury you themselves.” José explained.
” Why don’t we go to see how the woman is. At least, we can try to comfort her.” NIna insisted.
They went inside the woman’s house and saw her dead husband lying on a mat on the floor. Just a few people surrounded him. No one was crying, just staring at him. A man told them not to sit near the door. So Nina and José took a place in the corner. After several minutes , the dead body started to move. Nina thought that her eyes were playing tricks on her. Suddenly , the dead man was in a sitting position. José knew that Nina was about to freak out. He held her hands to comfort her and told her to keep quiet and just watch. Another man handed the dead man a shovel. Before , they knew it the corpse was running out the door with the shovel. The other people just ran after it and shouting.
“Let’s go, Nina, to see what will happen next.” José said pulling Nina to her feet.
It wasn’t easy trying to catch up with them. By the time they got to the grave yard, the dead man was digging his own grave. It didn’t take him that long. After it was done, he dropped the shovel and fell into the hole. That was when the other village people covered the hole with land.
” Before , you say anything Nina. Let me explain to you that what you witnessed is their custom. Especially when a very poor person dies. They have to bury themselves. None of their families wants to bury them.”
“But , José, as his wife told us that her husband has been dead more than three days. How can he come back alive again and dig his own grave!! That’s impossible”
“Nina, here in Madagascar , anything is possible. You just have to see it with your own eyes to believe it.”
When was the last time you picked up a book and actually enjoyed reading it? It seems that most of us really forgot about reading. Or we’re just not use to it. During our free times, we prefer watching TV, listening to music, playing sports or video games, Internet especially Facebook, or just hanging out with our friends and family. Why don’t we try something different like reading a book? Some of you might think that’s boring, a waste of time, or fun. As we know there are various kinds of books; it’s up to us to choose the book we’ll appreciate. I asked some people why they don’t like reading; most of their answers were too many new and complicated vocabulary. They’re lazy to check the meaning of the vocabulary in the dictionary. What we don’t know is reading gives us knowledge and can make us intelligent. We can learn a lot from the books we read. Maybe you want to travel around the world, but you can’t afford the trip. Read a book about the country you want to visit. If you watch a documentary on TV about the country, you’ll only know a little in a limited time. But in a book you’ll find a lot of information and it’s more detailed. There will be photos, history, and about the culture and the customs of the country. Some books were turned into movies but most of it weren’t that good compared to the book. A lot of scenario was left out. I’ve read the books of the famous writer Stephen King. When you watch the movie it isn’t scary as the book. Why? When you read a book you use your imagination to picture the story in your mind. You want to continue reading and reading to see what will occur next. I can tell you that it is more fun, than watching it on TV.
How to love reading? Choose the right book. A book you will be able to read from the beginning to the end. Remember reading is a “pleasure not a punishment.” Worried about the unknown vocabulary? When you read a book, you won’t know and understand every word you see. Reading builds your vocabulary, and can improve your writing and speaking. Each time you see a new vocabulary write it down and find the meaning in a dictionary. Don’t be lazy. It helps you understand what you’re reading and remember the vocabulary. Next time you see or hear the word, you’ll understand what it means right away. You can use it when you talk too. At first it will be tiring, frustrating and really annoying, but when you continue reading other books the words you don’t know will lessen. The more you read; you’ll get use to it and won’t have a hard time anymore. Some say they don’t have time to read a book. In life if we know to manage our time we have time for any activity. You don’t have to read a book for an entire day. Take 30mn or an hour per day to read a book. I tell you reading a book is awesome. It’s fun and very interesting. I read many books in my life. The best kind of books I like reading are the ones with no illustrations. I really love using my imagination when I read. It depends on the kind of book you read. If you’re really concentrating, you feel like you’re taking part of the story you read. Make reading one of your favorite hobbies and also one of your best friends not your enemy. You won’t regret it. I guarantee you there are advantages you can get from reading a book.
If you want to enter a world of books the best place is a library. A library is a building that houses collection of books and other materials. Nowadays we have the online books in the Internet. Not everyone can afford to have their own Internet at home. Going to a cybercafé spends a lot of money if you want to read an online book. Best place to go is the library. You can borrow the book which isn’t expensive or even free. Read it anytime you want. Having that book in your hand and turning the pages is a great sensation.
Enjoy reading no word can express how great it is.
For hours Johary waited impatiently for his client to come to his office. He loved his job as a lawyer but sometimes it can be very annoying. He looking at his watch, it was already late. Most of his coworkers already left, leaving him alone there. This morning his client told him that she needed to talk to him this evening, and it was very important. Until now she hadn’t arrived, at least she could have called if she couldn’t make yet. Everyone around Johary keeps asking him, why he doesn’t buy a car or a motorcycle. It’s not money problem the reason. Johary isn’t married or have any kids. He still lives with his beloved parents. It’s that Johary is afraid of accidents which he never admitted to anyone. On the news practically every day someone is killed in a car or motorcycle accident. He cherishes life too much to die so young. Johary knew that if he waited any longer he’ll miss the bus. He got up and locked the door, leaving the office. He didn’t bother saying bye to the guardians who were busy playing cards. It was already dark outside. The worst part was people were already lining up waiting for the last bus. How could so many people fit in one bus? That would be impossible, which means when the bus comes everyone will run and try to squeeze in it. At that moment people would be pushing, shoving just to get in. someone would just slap you hard in the face to get through. Johary hated those moments but he had to get home no matter what. Here comes the bus. It started getting hysterical. Johary held tight on his brief case so it won’t drop. It was the time for the strong people to show their strength and the weak to back off. A guy kept pushing Johary to the side. The woman on his other side kept pinching him. Johary didn’t feel like being Mister Nice guy this time. He took his brief case and hit everyone that was on his way. Breathlessly he entered the bus feeling exhausted and bruised. The same guy was still shoving him. “Stop pushing me Sir! Can’t you see you’re already in the bus? What’s your problem?” Johary shouted at the man. “I’m not deaf, and no need to shout!” replied the furious man. Suddenly the bus stop, the bus driver’s aid told them that there was a problem with the motor, and they have to fix it. People started to complain about getting home late. Johary knew that is parents will be very worried especially his mom. He looked for his cellphone in his pant pocket which wasn’t there anymore. Someone had stolen it. Johary felt angry and sad because that one cost him a fortune. The man looked at him. “I’m sure that it was you who stole my cellphone. You kept following me all the time.” Johary yelled pointing at the surprised man. “WHAT! Are you calling me a thief? You probably dropped it somewhere and blame it on me. I don’t even know you why should I follow you?” the man shouted back. “I can see the guilt in your eyes. Don’t think I’m a fool. You better give me back my cellphone or else!” Johary growled. Everyone in the bus was watching them argue. Johary was too mad to feel any shame fighting in a bus. “Are you threatening me? You don’t even know who I am. They don’t call me Rafred for no reason.” “They can call you whatever I don’t give a damn. Don’t make me lose my temper! I swear I’ll …” Johary screamed raising his hand about to hit the guy. “Touch me if dare, if you want to regret it for the rest of your life.” Rafred laughed. “Damn it give me back my cellphone.” “How can I give you something back that I don’t even have?” Rafred yelled. Johary couldn’t take it anymore, and punched Rafred. It became very silent in the bus. Everyone waited for Rafred to answer but he didn’t. “I told you not to touch me but you dared. You don’t even know who you’re messing with.” Rafred shrieked leaving the bus. “You’re not going to give me back my cellphone! Keep it I don’t want it anymore.” Johary yelled back feeling satisfied. Everyone went back to their seat not saying a word. It was really late when he got home; his parents were already in bed when Johary entered the house. The next morning he wasn’t feeling well. His entire body ached, especially his hand. They became very puffy and red. The color of his nails began to change. He couldn’t pick anything up with his inflamed hand. Johary had to go back to work today. There’s a very important meeting at the office he has to attend. He had to hide his ugly looking hand, but how? It’s strange to wear gloves on a hot day. “What happened to your hand?” a coworker asked looking disgusted. “It got stung by a bee.” Johary lied, trying not to show that his in pain. “Isn’t this your cellphone, you dropped it when you left the office. The guardian found it.” She told Johary. Throughout the meeting he couldn’t concentrate at all. His nails turned black and pus came out. He told them he was ill and went back home. Johary felt relieved that no one was at home. On his way to his bedroom, his nails fell on the floor. Johary screamed in horror. Nothing ever happened to him like this in his entire life. His thoughts came back to Rafred. He puts some gloves on, not caring what people might think. He walked back and forth at the bus stop hoping to see Rafred who was on the other side talking to someone. “Rafred I’m so glad to see you.” Johary whispered. “WHAT! The man who blamed me last night for stealing his cellphone. Have you lost your mind or what?” Rafred snapped. “I came to apologize. I left it at my office yesterday. I’m very sorry.” Johary said weakly. “After humiliating me in front of everyone, no way!” “My hand really hurts badly, and even my nails came off. I know you have something to do with it.” Johary cried. “People like you need to be taught a lesson. You can’t blame anyone if you don’t have proof. I want you to get down on your knees and say sorry. If you don’t you’ll lose both of your hands” Rafred warned him. “Com’on you’re kidding me. I’m not going to do that in front of all these people. It’s also market day. I’m not gonna put myself that low.” “I thought that you learned your lesson but I was wrong. Do what I told you or say goodbye to your hands.” Rafred said loudly making people turn to watch them. Johary knew without his hands, he wouldn’t be able to do anything. He got slowly down on his knees on the dirty ground and begged for forgiveness. He wanted to disappear hearing the laughter around him. Rafred forgave him and told him to go back home and not to worry about his hand. Johary left feeling so humiliated but relieved that his hand will heal.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long. Here we are alone, with no one to bother us. Just you and me. We’ve known each other for awhile. I guess we were both shy and never dared to date each other, but now everything changed. It’s been a week now; we’ve started going out together. You’re finally mine Carina. I love looking at your beautiful face. I can feel that you’re different from the other girls I’ve dated. There’s something special about you.” “Jaona are you saying all that just to flatter me. It was love at first sight when we met each other. Stop touching me like that you’re making me nervous.” “Carina I know you like my caress. Don’t push my hand away.” “I know what you have in mind but I’m not ready for it. I said stop touching me like that! Get your hands out of my t-shirt!” Carina yelled struggling to get away from his grip. “Don’t try to play innocent with me. I know it’s not your first time.” Jaona said angrily, grabbing her back. “Damn it! It’s my first time. I’m still a virgin ok! You gotta problem with that.” Carina sobbed. “No, no, no I don’t. I didn’t know that you were still a virgin. I hope I didn’t mean to scare you. I’m sorry for acting like a jerk. I swear I really love you Carina. I already waited a week; I mean that’s long enough isn’t it. If a guy waits longer than that he’ll just lose his mind. Especially a guy like me, who is use to have girlfriends. If you really love me as I love you. You’ll offer this chance to be the first with you. You’ll make me the happiest guy in the world. I had never dated a girl like you. Still a virgin at this time, wow! Unbelievable, I thought those kind of girls didn’t exist anymore. I knew you were special.” “Jaona I really love you a lot. I prefer older guys than me. You’re handsome, single and already working. That is the kind of guy all girls dream about. Don’t think I accept to be with you for your money. I love you for who you are.” “Prove to me that you really love me. Right now. You know what you gotta do.” Jaona begged. “I’ll do anything for you. It’s just that I want to wait for my wedding to lose my virginity.” “Carina what are you afraid of? You know that I work which means I’m stable. I promise that you can always count on me no matter what. You have nothing to worry about. I’ll work hard and save money for our future.” “Do you really mean what you’re saying Jaona?” “Would I lie to this angel of mine? Trust me and I’ll make you the luckiest and happiest girl in the world.” Jaona smiled. Carina was crazy about this guy. She knew her friends and schoolmates envied her being with Jaona. She didn’t want to lose him. She accepted to satisfy his desire. They lied naked next to each other. Jaona had this foolish grin that wouldn’t leave his face. As a guy, he felt proud. Carina felt cold and sad. She felt that precious part of her was taken away. Nothing would bring it back, it was too late. “Get dressed I’m taking you home. I don’t want my family to see us here.” Jaona said, getting up leaving Carina there speechless. On their way home no one spoke a word, both lost in their thoughts. As month passed, Carina didn’t hear from Jaona anymore. He didn’t bother to call or even to see how she was doing. What devastated Carina the most wasn’t that Jaona not caring about her, it was your belly getting bigger. The poor girl was pregnant. She didn’t know what to do. If she tells her parents they’ll surely kick her out the house. She went to Jaona’s house, he wasn’t there neither at work. Carina walked back home in tears. There was Jaona hand in hand with another girl. They were laughing and seemed to have a good time. He didn’t notice her until Carina approached him. “How could you? Look what you did too me.” Carina screamed pointing at her bulging belly. “Who is this girl? The girl asked Jaona surprised of seeing how furious Carina was. “I have no idea. I never saw her in my life.” Jaona denied. “What! After you’ve got me pregnant, you pretend not to know me. I thought you loved me. What about all those promises?” Carina cried. “You probably confused me with someone else. Go away you’re interrupting us.” Jaona got up, pushing Carina. “You lied, nothing but lies. You never loved me then. What am I gonna do with our baby? How will I take care of it?” “Get out of my sight! That’s your problem!” Jaona yelled leaving with his new girlfriend. Carina ran after them, grabbed Jaona’s jacket. “I have something else important to tell you.” she told Jaona who was losing his patience. “I don’t care! Foolish girl!” he continued walking away laughing hysterically. Carina had no other choice than to tell her parents about her pregnancy. It turned out bad. They got angry and kicked her out the house. She had nowhere to go or anyone to help her. Carina went directly to the police station. She told the police that she was only 16 yrs old and raped by Jaona. It was a shock for Jaona’s grandmother to see the police at their door. She thought something bad happened to one of her family. They had to call him at work to come home directly. “I didn’t know that she was underage or even pregnant. She lied to me about her age.” Jaona said trying to defend himself. The police put handcuffs on him, and lead him to the police car. “Carina how could you do this to me? I thought you loved me but you lied.” Jaona cried. “Now we’re even. You’re going to be put in jail for the rest of your life. While baby and I will be living on the streets for the rest our lives.” Carina thought to herself. Jaona screamed for forgiveness. Carina walked away laughing hysterically.
In M/car each women has a choice to work or stay home and take care of her family. How is it like to be a Malagasy house wife? Everyday she wakes up very early in the morning before anyone else. She prepares breakfast for the family. Only a few households can afford to use gas stoves. Charcoal is usually used to cook the meals. In the countryside they use woods. In our country for breakfast we don’t eat cereal or pancakes. We love eating rice three times per day. It’s our main food. So for breakfast the housewife cooks rice, which is cooked with more water. She fries eggs or meat to eat along with the rice. During the meantime, she irons the clothes her husband and children will wear for the day. If she didn’t have the time to finish her ironing last night. She would wake up everybody to eat. After breakfast she would wash up the kids and get them dressed. Finally she’s alone at home, which means tons of house chores waiting for her. Time is very precious for a Malagasy house wife. In so little time, she has a lot to get done. Everyone comes back home for lunch around at noon. First she has to get the entire house cleaned, before she can go food shopping. Trying to figure what to prepare for a meal is a tough job. So she spends some time around the market place bargaining and choosing carefully what she buys. Rushing back home immediately to start the cooking again. If there’s a baby, she has to take her child to the market with her too. So imagine heavy groceries in one arm and the baby in the other. Some women do like carrying their baby on their back. The meal has to be ready before the rest of the family comes home. The lunch break isn’t that long, so everyone eats quickly and goes back to work and school. There she is alone again with mounds of dishes to be washed. Does every household have a dishwasher? I don’t think so. So she hand washes the dishes, and scrubs all the pans. Even if that’s all done there’s no time to take a break. Most of the people like washing their laundry on Saturdays. But it’s better when you have free time to wash it little by little everyday. It will be nice to have a washing machine, and throw all those clothes inside of it and do something else. That’s not always the case. Majority of the people here hand wash their laundry or have someone to wash it for them when they can’t. It’s a very tiring back breaking moment. No one wants to go around wearing filthy clothes. So it’s worth it. How long will that take, maybe hours it depends? After that sweep and clean the house again if necessary. Check the laundry basket if there’s still some not ironed clothes in it. If there is she has to make sure all clothes are ironed. Most of the time she is too busy to notice how time flies. It’s getting late which means back to the cooking. After dinner everyone goes to do everything they want, while she’s there washing those dishes again. So she wonders will her house chores ever end. Making sure everything was done, that is when she can finally take a rest. Being a house wife isn’t easy. It’s a lot of work. The big difference is that you don’t get paid like those women who work. Some of you wonder why not hire a maid to help out? Having a maid is a waste of money, and makes a person lazy. The most important is that you enjoy what you’re doing; especially taking care of a family.
Liza thought that she had an almost perfect life. She had two kids, and a husband that worked hard. So she didn’t have to work. Her husband really spoiled her. He didn’t want his “Queen” to tire herself to much because she was one of those kinds of fragile women. That easily gets sick, when she does too much effort. Liza knew that no woman lived the way that she lived. When she wanted to get her husband’s attention; she would pretend to faint and be ill. Foolish husband believed her; and told her to find a maid to help her out with the housework. Liza wasn’t the type to trust any stranger to live with them. She asked her sister Tsiky to work for her. Tsiky didn’t have a choice. She wasn’t married, hardly finished school and was fed up living with their parents. She accepted the offer to be her sister’s maid. Now Liza lived in paradise. She had nothing to worry and above all goodbye to all house chores. Everyday she would wake up anytime she wants. While her husband wakes up early in the morning to start a fire; prepare breakfast for the family and wash the last night dishes. He doesn’t dare to wake up the maid; because it was his sister in law. He surely didn’t want to wake up his sleeping wife. Before the maid’s arrival, he already had the habit of it. When breakfast is ready, he goes to wake up his family. Before he goes to work, he takes the time to check his eldest daughter’s homework if it’s done. Everyday was the same for Liza; it was up to the maid to do everything. She would sweep the house until the maid comes back from taking the kids to school, and the market. She felt tired already and told the maid that she was going to take a rest. The maid her sister, knew she was in charge of everything and could do anything that she wanted. Liza would never know who spent most of her day sleeping. It was time to pick up the kids from school. Tsiky would leave the house early. She wanted to meet her boyfriend. They would talk and flirt endlessly. Losing the track of time, the kids would be waiting alone at school. Tsiky knew that they were late for lunch. She would tell the kids to lie to their mother, so she won’t get in trouble. Tsiky knew that her sister Liza would suffer when she wasn’t around. That family really needed her. Tsiky was allowed to go out on Sundays, and come back home in the evening. Sometimes, she was having too much fun and didn’t want to go home yet. She’d come back the next day making an excuse like she couldn’t find a bus to come back. As time passed, there was a pang of jealousy in Tsiky towards her sister. Liza had the life that she wanted. She was sick of being treated like maid, though she was. She hated to be ordered, and yelled at. She also hated the family dog that she had to clean up its poop outside every morning. It was Tsiky’s turn to take control. She poisoned the poor little dog and blamed the neighbors for doing it. She wanted Liza to become completely useless physically. All Tsiky did was go to someone, who helped her put a curse on her sister. This time Liza was really frail She had incessant terrible headaches; feverish and dizzy all the time. When the pain is terrible, Liza would let out an agonizing scream. Sometimes she couldn’t stand up too long, and had to lie in bed most of the time.
It was impossible for Liza to attend any family event. She didn’t want to be humiliated by having an attack in front of people. She preferred to stay locked up at home. Tsiky felt satisfaction watching her sister condition worsen day by day. They tried everything to heal Liza. So much money was spent, paying different doctors who couldn’t figure out her illness. Her parents thought that she was possessed by a demon. So they called a preacher to exorcise their daughter during several days. It didn’t work. One day Liza became unconscious; her family didn’t know what to do. Her husband lied by her side begging her not to die. Tsiky waited so long for this moment to come. Though it didn’t end up how Tsiky expected it to. Liza got back the little strength she had. Someone told her about a woman who was gifted to heal people. Liza went there weekly until she got better. The woman told Liza to be careful; because she was cursed by a person close to her. Her family told her not to trust her sister Tsiky who had a bad reputation toward their family. Liza thought deeply about everything that her family told her. Since the arrival of Tsiky a lot of things changed, especially concerning her health. Liza decided to fire her maid who became strange and hard headed lately. It wasn’t easy. Tsiky didn’t want to leave. She had no one to take her in; even her own family. She was terrified to live in the streets. She begged to stay but Liza didn’t care.
Liza’s life during that moment changed. She was obliged to do all the house chores which she hated. She had no choice. Liza was angry and frustrated to be left in this situation. It was either working hard taking care of her household or her life taken.
It doesn’t have to be a stranger or a friend who’ll betray us. It can be a family member too. Never say that my family or siblings will never do that to me. You’re wrong. You judge the person how they act in front of you. How well do you know that person? Everyone knows how to be a hypocrite, especially if there’s something they want to get. So in life always be cautious and not to naïve. People will just take advantage of you. What I wrote here is not a made up story. It’s really a situation that happened in a society.
Before when people talks about finding their true love, it just made me laugh. I always considered them naïve fools, who believe in such nonsense. I guess I wasn’t a lucky guy. I usually ended up with snobbish materialistic girls, who know nothing about love. I want to fall in love and deserve to be happy like everyone. Everything changed for me the day I meet her. There she was standing near my bedside, so beautiful with her translucent dress and long black hair. She had this sweet and innocent face. I moment I saw her I knew deep down inside of me that she was the one. I’ve waited all my life. Ok, I admit that I’m not a great looking guy, but damn rich. I know I can offer a girl all that her heart desires, and she’ll do anything for return. It’s not what I want. I want to love and be loved. I know Mia will never cheat on me and break my heart. She’s mine, and I don’t have to worry about another guy taking her from me.
‘’ Patrick, yesterday when I passed by, you weren’t here. I was very sad. You promised me that you’ll always be there when I need you.”Mia approached him.
“Sorry my beauty. My buddies had suddenly a plan to hangout at Mahamasina. I swear I didn’t want to go, but they forced me. They said that it was the stupidest thing for a guy to stay home on a terrific Friday. We just ate and drunk beer all night. I hope you’re not angry.” Patrick explained; not daring to look at her eyes.
“I was very angry. Didn’t you notice that I messed up your entire room? I come here everyday late at night to visit you. You go out there to have fun with other people, how could you! I want you to introduce me to your friends. I deserve to have fun too!”
“Mia it won’t be that easy. I know my friends well.”
“You’re jealous! You’re afraid that they will hit on me. I want you to have a night party at your place, invite everyone.”
She was frustrated and left, he just laid there, feeling disappointed. He was expecting them to have their intimate moment together. He loved the way she touched him, till he fell asleep.
At work he couldn’t concentrate anymore. Patrick knew that if he didn’t introduce Mia to his friends, who knows what she’s capable of doing. He doesn’t want to hurt her feeling, especially make her mad. This girl is too precious for him to lose. Patrick poked his best friend Niaina, pretending to work on the computer though reading his emails.
“Tonight I want you to meet my girlfriend at my place. She really insisted in meeting my friends, but I chose you to meet Mia first.” Patrick whispered.
“I knew you were going out with someone. Why did you hide it from us, especially me your best buddy? Is she that hot? You’re the overprotective type of guy.” Niaina grinned showing all his yellow stained teeth.
“My parents won’t be at home tonight. They have some kind of family meeting. Come on over and you can sleep over too. They won’t mind.”
His friends always teased him about at his age still living with his folks. He didn’t care. Everything seems pretty cool, as long as he gives them the money they need. It was already 9 pm, Patrick paced back and forth in his room waiting for Niaina and Mia to come. He was nervous and excited at the same time. He wanted for such a long time to share his secret with someone. He knew that tonight will be the moment. Some knocked loudly on the front door. Patrick ran to open it up. There was Niaina standing there looking beat.
“Sorry if I’m late. I had an argument with my girlfriend. She wanted to come along, but I didn’t let her. I know that she doesn’t trust me. She thinks I’m screwing around. It was tough to convince her to stay. Is Mia there already?” Niaina said breathlessly trying to keep up with Patrick, who seems in a hurry.
“No, she’ll be here soon. Don’t worry about her.” Patrick replied.
Patrick told his friend to sit on the bed and wait. He felt uncomfortable. He wasn’t ashamed in being with Mia. She wasn’t ugly or anything just different from the other girls. He doesn’t want her to feel left out, and always be apart of his life. So she would be accepted by his friends and family.
“I want you to meet Niaina my best friend.” Patrick said, gazing across the room.
Niaina gave his friend an awkward look. A female voice replied softly “Nice to meet you Niaina”
Niaina turned around to see this mysterious person that Patrick never told him about.
His mouth dropped open and froze in his place.
“It’s a GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHOST!” the terrified guy shrieked and fainted.
“I told you my SECRET LOVE is special”. Patrick said proudly.
Can we really leave our babies alone with nannies? Are we taking a fatal risk? I’m not saying all nannies are bad. It depends on the person. Here are some problems parents had with their nanny. Both parents work. So they left their 7 month old baby with a nanny, they thought they could trust. When you have a baby, that bottle feed, you need to be very careful. The nursing bottle must be well cleaned and boiled, before using. Some nannies find it a hassle washing it. She doesn’t wash the nursing bottle, just rinse it. And give it to the baby after, which is very dangerous for the baby’s health. As my personal experience, I had a nanny for 2 months. She told me that she was well experienced of taking care of children; especially babies. I did trust her, but one day I was shocked. She was paid to help me out with my baby. So I thought she knew what she was doing, and I had nothing to worry about. It was a Saturday; she usually goes home during the weekend. I was washing the nursing bottle, when I noticed that its teat was a blackish color; because of dirt. The nanny didn’t bother washing the teat well then. A careless act like that can kill a baby. I’m grateful that my son didn’t get sick at all.
For some nannies, they hate feeding time, because it takes a lot of time. It does take awhile to feed a baby, who likes to take their time. So for those who are in a hurry, they drink the baby’s milk, pretend that it was the baby who had finished it. Some babies do starve of hunger or doesn’t get enough to eat.
The working parents told the nanny to make some tomato juice for the baby. At home, they have a well and inside water. The nanny hardly washed the tomatoes, and used the water from the well to make the juice. The baby got very sick and had a serious attack of diarrhea. The baby couldn’t make any sound any more, and his mouth was just hanging wide open. If the parents didn’t take him immediately to the hospital, the baby would have died.
When I was told about that incident it really freaked me out. I decided to stop working, and stay home to take care of my son. Who knows when I’m not home, would happen to my son? Another reason I didn’t like keeping the nanny. She told me that it wasn’t good to take a baby often to the doctor. She told me that she knew some home remedies to cure my baby if he gets sick. According to her, the best moment to take a baby or child to the doctor, when they’re really sick. She wanted to play the home doctor. Since then, I didn’t trust her anymore. If my baby was sick, she would hide it from me, and try to cure him herself.
Now I feel relieved. I’m the one taking care of my baby. I don’t need to worry about, how a nanny could harm my child. It’s tough juggling all housework and baby at the same time. You just need to get used to it.
For all parents and future parents, don’t take the risk in leaving your baby or child in the hand of a stranger. If you need to work, at least leave it with a person you really trust like a family member or a friend.
The man sat nervously on the chair waiting for the reporter. After all these years, he had no idea why he accepted to tell his story. The past isn’t easy to erase, and especially forget. It will always be there to haunt you day and night. He has a good life and loves dearly his wife and two wonderful boys. That day when he saw “them”, there was a bitter taste in his mouth. They recognized him right away. He didn’t really change, except he aged. He wasn’t anymore the skinny little boy with the old pants, brown jacket, with a dirty t-shirt inside. They tried to hug him, but he backed away quickly. His thoughts were interrupted, when the breathless woman reporter entered the room. She took another chair and sat next to the man. She knew that this interview won’t be easy for him. He looked sad and nervous.
Reporter: Thank you Mr. Feno for taking the time to come here today. I know you’re a busy man. To make my job easier, so I won’t forget any important details. I’m going to record this interview. You read my article about Painful Past. You accepted to testify about your past that you never told anyone, even your own family.
Mr. Feno: Honestly, it wasn’t easy for me to do this. For several years I tried to bury all my past. Now, it’s like I’m digging it up again. I know whatever I do; I can never run from it. You’re right I never told anyone especially my wife or children, even my closest friend what I’ve been through. I kept silent through all these years. Maybe it will help me to get rid of this heaviness off my chest. I carried it too long. I’m ready to talk about it.
Reporter: You painful past, when did it occur for you?
Mr. Feno: I guess around the age 6. I came from a big family. We lived with our parents. I had 5 siblings, and I was the youngest. We lived in poverty. My mother didn’t work, and Dad was a guardian. He wasn’t paid enough to feed us all. So they decided to send my older siblings to work in people’s home. My 8 yrs old sister and I were left to stay with them. Our life didn’t change. There are times that we hardly even ate or didn’t eat at all during a day. Mother would leave us alone at home, and go to Dad’s job. She would leave a small loaf of bread for my sister and me to share, until they come back in the evening. Or she would just tell us that she had no money, and left us there. We knew that she lied.
Reporter: Where your parents abusive?
Mr. Feno: Yes, they were, especially when we didn’t do or finish the things they tell us to do. Once I was sent to fetch water. The tin pail was too heavy. We weren’t allowed to help each other with house chores. I could barely pick it up, so I dragged it back home little by little. It was half empty when I got there. Dad was angry. He took off his belt and beat me with the metal part. He didn’t stop until I was bleeding. I couldn’t cry for help. If I did, I knew he would have killed me on the spot. So I was there, until his arm was tired. I had a hard time walking around for days. I’m grateful, it didn’t leave terrible scars.
Reporter: What was the most painful for you the physical abuse or verbal?
Mr. Feno: People might think I’m crazy if I say this, but it was the verbal abuse. I’d rather be beaten often, because the wound will heal. But when your parents tear you apart with their mean and cruel words, it hurts a lot. In your mind, you can hear the nasty things they say repeat over and over again. It won’t go away. At night, I even dream about it.
Reporter: You went through a lot during your childhood. What was the most terrible thing they ever done to you?
Mr. Feno: Ok, this is going to be tough. I know I have to let this out one day. We lived in the countryside, pretty far from town. Dad worked there. He’s often absent at home. He came home late at night, and they had an argument. They sent my sister and me outside, because they didn’t want us to hear what they were fighting about. That week Dad didn’t go back to work. Later on I figured out that he was fired from his job. Frequently, my parents had this private conversation between them. One day Dad told me to get dress, and go with him. At first I was surprised that rarely happens. It was exciting because my first time to go to town, and ride in a car. I had no idea where we were going. He told me that he had an appointment for another job, and he wanted to take me long as company. All I remember was that he held my hand, and we were zigzagging through the market. There were a lot of people. I was scared. He told me to wait for him at a certain spot, and warned me not to move. So I obeyed him, and stay there. It was getting cold and dark. I got tired and sat on the ground. People were busy putting their merchandises away, and heading home. I waited but didn’t see Dad coming back to get me. It was dark, everyone left except me. I was very hungry and cold. The last thing I ate for lunch was a small bowel of sugarless corn back home. My stomach didn’t stop growling. I waited and waited until I fell asleep on the ground. Someone woke me up, but it wasn’t Dad. It was already morning, he didn’t show up. The person told me to move from the spot, so I had no choice. So I was this 6 yr old little boy walking around this unknown place.
Reporter: Did you know how long we were out there alone? Did your parents come back to look for you?
Mr. Feno: I didn’t exactly how long at that time I was out there. I didn’t go to school, so I didn’t know how to read or even write my own name. No my parents never searched for me.
Reporter: I mean, how did you survive out there?
Mr. Feno: As time passed, I realized that my parents abandoned me. I didn’t know anyone or relatives in this town. Where could I go? I had to dig through trashes and steal in order to survive. Once I got caught stealing a banana at the market. The seller was furious, and dragged me to the nearest police station. The police were asking me all these questions, that I had no answers too. Finally they sent me to a place for orphans.
Reporter: How does it feel to be abandoned by your own parents?
Mr. Feno: It was more than painful. At that time, I kept asking myself what did I do wrong to make my parents hate me that much? How could they live in peace while their little boy is out there in a strange place, cold and starving to death?
Reporter: Now it seems that everything changed for you. If you see your parents again one day, how would you feel towards them?
Mr. Feno: I did see them recently. They’re old, compared to the last time I saw them. Immediately, they recognized me. They approached and wanted to hug me, but I back away. What really hurt me deep down inside. The moment in my life when I really needed their love and support they abandoned me. They let me go through all that terrible things. Now they know that I have money and succeeded in life. They want to know me. Through all these years, I lied to my family that my parents were dead. That’s the reason I was in an orphanage. I never dared to tell them what my parents did to me. It was a total shame. Suddenly, they appear in my life.
Reporter: Are you willing to forgive them, and start a new relationship?
Mr. Feno: I forgave them a longtime ago; I hold no grudge against them. But it’s better for us to stay our separate ways. Some people say that parents will never harm, destroy or take away the lives of their own children. I tell you that’s wrong. For those who had good parents think that way. They had a wonderful childhood, with precious memories. They can’t say all parents are good or bad. Each parent, mother or father is different. Don’t compare your life to others. If someone says that they have the best parents in the world, they have their reasons. But if others say that there parents were nothing but cruel heartless people, don’t blame them. I believe that parents like mine, don’t deserve the love of their child. They made their choice to abandon me. I made my choice to stay away from them and protect my family to have contact with people like that.
Reporter: Thanks a lot again for sharing your life story with me. So I can write an article about it. Is there a last thing, you’ll like to say.
Mr. Feno: I don’t have much to add, except it helped me out a lot talking about my past. My last message is that no child was born to suffer. It’s us, the parents who brought them in this world. Treat your own flesh and blood as you would like to be treated.
Have you ever sat down and thought about the « craziest things you’ve done » in your life? For each person, it’s different. I never thought I’d write this article and share with everyone that reads my blog, what I’ve done. I know some will find it very stupid what I’ve done, but I find it hilarious.
v My cousins and I decided to go to church one Sunday morning. Frankly, we don’t have the habit to go there. So we woke up early that morning and got ready. We were 4 girls, and I was the youngest at that time. You know how girls love to look their best. Our hairs were perfectly done, tons of make-up, short dresses, and can’t forget the high heels. We had no idea which church exactly we wanted to go to. We left the house looking like top models LOL! My cousin said we’ll go to any church we see on the way. There was this place which we heard people singing church songs. We couldn’t see the name of the church. Anyway we entered the gate, and marched in the church. I guess our high heels made too much noise when we entered. The preacher who was giving a sermon, stopped, his mouth dropped open. The others in the church turned around and stared at us. The four of us just froze like statues not knowing what to do. My other cousin whispered, for us to sit down quickly. As I looked around, I noticed that the other women wore long dresses, no make- up, and looked very simple and plain. The covered their heads with a cloth or a scarf. The strangest thing was that the women and men were separated. They sat on different sides. What made it worse we sat on the wrong side. Yep on the men’s side. A lot weren’t concentrating anymore. LOL! There was a moment they started howling, crying, saying incomprehensible things, and some even was beating their chest very hard. The four of us looked at each other. We’re probably thinking the same thing: are we suppose to do that too? We couldn’t stay in that church any longer. We got up slowly and walked out quickly. When we got out the gate their were some guys across the streets shouting things like: “Wow, if that’s what the girls look like in that J.M. church I’ll go there too.”
v People say that “amalona” which is an eel, is delicious. I never tried that before, and had no clue how to cook it. There were no adults at home except us kids. A seller passed by and we bought a medium size eel. So I asked my cousin to kill it. She told me to boil water. It didn’t take her long to come back. She said that it wasn’t her first time to cook an eel. She told me to drop it in the boiling water. A few seconds after I put the eel in the boiling water, and covered the pan. The lid flew off; the eel stood up like a cobra. The eel and I was looking at each other. I was terrified. We ran out the house screaming. I almost fell off our balcony. We didn’t dare to go back in right away. I asked her how she killed it. She told me that she strangled it the best as she could.
v There was a time, most of the girls here in Tana, dyed their hairs. I wanted to dye my hair too. So I went to a hairdresser, and she dyed all my hair a violet color. It looked nice on me, especially when it’s sunny outside. The color became more gorgeous. I really loved it. As months passed, my hair color changed into an ugly brownish color. I was pissed off. I went back to the hairdresser, and asked her advice about my hair. She told me that I have two choices: recolor it black again but it might turn brownish again later on or cut it. I told her to cut it as short as possible. Each time, she’d ask if I like how short cut it. I wasn’t satisfied, so kept telling her to cut it shorter, because I didn’t want to see the brown color anymore. She looked at me and said, I’m sorry but there’s no more hair to cut anymore. I didn’t freak out to see myself bald with little hair left. My scalp was visible. I thanked her and put my hat on and went home. When I got home, I yelled: Look at my new hair cut. There was nothing but silence. I got tried staying home waiting for my hair to grow back. One day I decided to go to town Analakely, and walk around. I wore baggy jeans, and a large t-shirt, sneakers and no hat. I wanted to show everyone that I’m not ashamed of being a bald girl. People were starring, and asking each other if I was a boy or a girl. I didn’t look ugly, cute in a way. They were confused what I really was because no girl will cut their hair that short, but the face looked girlish. The good thing is I got my natural colored black hair back.
v I always wanted to have a nose ring. I went to a store that pierces noses and ears. The man who was in charge of it, left eye was a whitish color. So it was his right eye that really worked. When he showed me the nose rings, which had pretty colorful stones. I liked it but, the nose was too big. I asked for a smaller one. He told me that for the first time, I have to use this huge nose ring. After one month I can change it to any I like. Ok I agreed. I was worried that the man couldn’t see well the spot to put the nose ring. It was quick and not painful and the right spot. My nose ring was looked like a closed rose, with a stone in it. On the bus, people were starring at my nose. A person asked me if it was real. I said yes. She asked if it was painful and heavy. I said no. When a month passed I went to buy my smaller nose ring. Months passed it started to annoy me, especially when I have a cold. I don’t like taking it off and putting it on. The side where the nose ring was started to swell. I had to take it off before my nostrils weren’t the same size anymore. Months and years passed I’m grateful the hole where the nose ring closed up. My nose looks normal again.
v I like going to the countryside. The life in the city and over there is so different. During the vacation time, we go the countryside. We entered a house, precisely the kitchen. There was smoke everywhere. They make a wood fire to cook their food. The family was just sitting their in the smoke, like it was nothing. I was choking and gasping for breathe. My eyes were stinging, and became red. I was blowing my nose every minute. They just laugh. We went there in the rainy season. I didn’t want to stay inside all day, especially in the smoky kitchen and not do anything. I decided to follow them to visit to go to the nearest market. To get there, you have to go through a vast rice paddy. The path was so narrow and slippery from the rain. They asked me if I know how to walk through a rice paddy. Of course I told them. They told me to take my shoes off, because it would be very slippery, and I fall in the rice. I had no choice and I did. The ground was squishy and cold. I didn’t want to go first, so I went last. The others had no trouble go through it. I could hardly move. My knees were weak and I was trembling. Who knows how deep the water that covered the rice is. I didn’t want to fall in it. Each time I take a step, I slip a little. Sorry it was difficult to keep my balance in this slippery path. They were already on the other side; here I was stuck in the middle of the rice paddy. It was getting dark. They called me to hurry up, I couldn’t move. Great, I thought to myself: here I am stuck and it’s dark. I’m not afraid of the dark. It’s that I’m night blind. What can be worse? They told me to wait for them there until they came back from the market. There I was alone. When I heard an owl hoot. I got goose bumps and my heart was beating so hard. I’ll let you imagine how I got out of there.
There were just some of the “craziest things I’ve done” that I’ll never forget. I didn’t regret any of it. Life will be dull, if we don’t spice it a little.