OK some more news from Madagascar from the homestay front.  My family is awfully nice, but I am experience a lack of independence unlike anything I’ve ever endured previously.  Maman isn’t keen to let me take taxis at night, talk to taxi drivers, get my own taxi; do my own laundry; prepare my own food or eat alone; stay out past dark, or go out with friends without a schedule; be alone in a room; &c.  Some of these things are not a big deal, and some of them are excusable because of significant cultural differences, but some are just grating.  Anyway, it’s just one more experience I guess.

Another hilarious things about my homestay parents concerns religion.  The first night there they asked me what religion I was, “Catholic or Lutheran?”  In my best French, I tried to explain that I haven’t been to church for as long as I can remember and Jesus is as meaningful to me as any of the other folks in those ancient religious texts.  My homestay parents did not understand this.  I threw out the word “Episcopalian” because I guessed that my grandparents were Episcopalian (I don’t know if this is true–and I’m sorry if I am wrong!), and my homestay parents seemed much comforted.  Unfortunately, I am a bad Episcopalian.  I don’t know grace and I couldn’t explain my lack of church attendance.  I got asked about this by my homestay parents’ friends and was an embarrasement for my homestay parents, and also got guilt tripped for not going to church.  Ah, c’est la vie malgache.  More later…


2 thoughts on “homestay

  1. Episcopalian is right, and here are a couple of easy graces, tell them you must say it in english:
    “Grace in the kitchen, Grace in the hall,
    For God’s sake, Grace, don’t eat it all!


    “Now I lay me down to sleep
    While the bedbugs ’round me creep
    If one should bite before I wake
    I hope to God his jaw will break.

    Anyway, go to church, it is another part of the culture you should experience.
    Love ya,

  2. Here’s one for you:

    Thank you for the world so sweet
    thank you for the food we eat
    thank you for the birds that sing
    thank you God for everything.

    God can be any higher power that you ‘might’ believe in – doesn’t have to be Jesus! – and this will be easy to translate to french!!

    love and smiles,
    Aunt Rennie

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