It has been a couple of days since my last post. But boy have we experienced and learned a lot!
A few days ago we discovered that we have mice in our apartment. So we tried to get a hold of a mouse trap. Nirina got us one of those ?sticky mouse killer things?. Of course we forgot it. So many different alternatives were thought of; letting the loose hounds inside to eat them, I suggested keeping them and feed them and treating them as our pets. That resulted in a new house rule: NO ANIMALS INSIDE THE APARTMENT. Oh, those democratic decisions...
The same day we went to something called "the turning of the bones", or an exhumation, which is a Malagasy tradition. This tradition is a part of looking after, and appreciate the dead ancestors. Every 2-7 years the family of the deceased digs up the tomb and takes out the body. Then they wrap the corps in new "clothes" so the spirit keeps warm.
At first we did not really understand what we were a part of, but as the first bodies were carried out of the tomb the pieces started to fall together. This event is not supposed to be a time filled with sorrow or grief, in fact the contrary. The families consume a lot of alcohol, dance around the tomb, smile and have fun. Around 40% of the Malagasy population believes in this tradition.
Here are some photos from another exumition Sivert was attending:
The next day was Sunday. We were picked up by a lady called Fara and her son. We were going to eat lunch at their place and then head for the Queen?s palace the top of one of Antananarivo's (Tana) 11 peaks. The entrance fee was 400 AriArys for the Malagasy people and 7000 AriAry for foreigners (ca. 19 NOK).
Here are some photos:
No shoes on the grass. They used to slaughter cows here.
Sivert and Kaja, still twins.
Fara and Mary
Kaja, Fara, Mary and Faras son, the malagasy name for "perfection"
Yes, I love this place.
Ordinary city bus. Crowded as always.. And yes, we do take these every day
The driver lives in the same neighborhood as us. And he told us that the harmless nice, poor beggar we pass several times every day is apparently super villain number one. He basically decides which house and what people his "gang" are going to rob. The King of the pick pockets they call him. What a nice man. We decided to keep smiling and may be giving him some money in hopes of him liking us. J
We got reminded of the insecurity and why we should not go outside after six o?clock the same evening. We wanted to treat ourselves and decided to order pizza from the famous Pizzeria La Gastro, who delivers at your doorstep for only 1000 AriAry. We called them to order, but sadly they stop delivering in our neighborhood at five PM because of the crime. Sure enough, deliverymen also deserve their safety. We made pasta instead. Yummy.
Now, back to the mice. It turns out we don't need a mouse trap after all. Kaja accidentally stepped on one of them earlier this evening, leaving a pool of mouse blood on our bedroom carpet. It simply decided to end its own life by running under her foot. Poor thing. Therefore another hysterical screaming concert began in the CFC crib, trying to dispose of the dead mouse.
Unfortunately I have no photos of the mouse, but since we believe we have more. May be you'll get lucky.
- - Ingrid
Rask oppsummering på Norsk:
Vi har mus! mange mus, tror vi hvertfall.. De bråker mye om natten. Kaja tråkket på en tidligere i dag. Mye museblod på teppet. :) Vi har vært på en sermoni for gassiske forfedre, der familien graver opp graven og pakker liket inn i nye klær. Veldig utenkelig for nordmenn, men ganske interessant å ta del i.
Vi har besøkt Queen's palace. Et gammelt slott bebodd av konger og dronninger. Det er flere av dem her i hovedstaden, men mange ble brent ned i 1995 på grunn av opptøyer.
Vi har vært på besøk hos en dame med navn Fara og spist lunsj med familien hennes.
Ellers har vi det veldig flott! Vi tilpasser oss livet i vårt intime kollektiv! Så lang går det veldig fint! :)
Bestemor og Bestefar; Jeg vet ikke om dere har fått en telefon fra Andor Gjelsvik enda? Han sa han skulle ringe.. Men Jeg skulle hilse så masse til dere og hele holteslekta! Vi viste han rundt på KFUK/KFUM skolen vi bor rett ved siden av. Veldig hyggelig mann. :) Håper alt står bra til hjemme.