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October 21st 2008 (Tuesday)

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.

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October 16th 2008 ( Thursday)

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!!!

October 15th 2008 (Wednesday)

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.

October 14th 2008 ( Tuesday)

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……..

October 13th 2008 ( Monday)

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….