18 May 2015

Fitsangatsangana.

Fitsangatsangana: picnic, outing

Over the past three weeks, I've had the opportunity to go to two Malagasy picnics! The first was with my church to celebrate Labor Day and the second was a picnic with some of my English students to celebrate their promotion.

At the church celebration, we gathered for worship before lunch, led by both of our pastors. Then we sat together as families on lambas or pieces of fabric spread throughout a wooded area outside of town. There was rice and a side of pork with vegetables for everyone who had purchased a ticket, as well as a banana or orange. Lots of families brought baskets with additional food; we added chicken to our plates. There was also juice and other snacks for sale. Then the afternoon was spent in fellowship. I walked around taking pictures with my host sister and some of her friends for a while before karaoke time with Malagasy hymns. There was a whole sound system with speakers and microphones and a laptop, transported all the way to the middle of the woods!

My host sister, a few of her friends, and I in the middle of the picnic area.

More picnickers enjoying the afternoon.

For the student picnic, the English, French, and technology students and teachers from the extracurricular programs at my church all took a bus to a recreational area about an hour south of town. Lunch was potluck style with everyone bringing their own rice and then sharing sides of meat, fish, vegetables, pasta salad, and more! We spent the afternoon walking around and playing frisbee and other group games. There were even some vendors running entertainment like rides in a giant hammock and ring toss to win bottles of soda!

The recreation area was filled with trees along the side of a small lake. Entrance to the park is about 25 cents for Malagasy citizens.

These students just finished level 1 English classes. They will be the last set of students in my level two classes before I leave!

These girls walked past us selling flowers as we were playing frisbee. I really admire the ability to carry things on your head! It's a really common way to carry things here and it's much harder than it looks!

At both picnics, everyone brought their own dishes and silverware. It's a bit more work to transport everything and wash dishes after returning home, but it was also nice to not have a trash bag overflowing with single-use paper pates and plastic silverware. I'm so thankful to have been included in these two fun weekend events!

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