Pakke, Pakke, Pakke !

Om noen dager gr turen til Sunnmre folkehgskule (SUFH). Det er p denne skolen vi skal bo og arbeide frem mot de to infoturneene. Det blir utrolig spennende og ikke minst gleder jeg meg til se alle sammen igjen! Sr-deltakerne reiser fra Nicaragua, Kenya, Madagaskar, Fillipinene, Brazil og Armenia i natt eller de nermeste dagene. Deltakerne blir sendt p FK-kurs nr de ankommer Norge og vi fr ikke sett dem fr fredag kveld. De Norske deltakerne skal i mellomtiden g p skole og skrive oppgave.

S akkurat n, som dere skjnner, str jeg midt p rommet mitt, med klr til knrne og INGEN anelse om hvordan jeg skal f alt ned i sekker, bagger og kofferter.

Honey, I'm home

Vell, ikke helt hjemme. Befinner meg for tiden p Modum og debrief. Thumbs up.

Status ferie

Kaja og jeg har denne uken ferie. Siden vi ikke har sett sjen p snart fire mnd tenkte vi det ville vrt fint oppleve Madagaskars kyst. Vi satte derfor snuten nordover og tok veien til Mahajanga. Etter tre dager i 35 varmegrader, sol og strand er status:

- SOLBRENT (Ja mamma, jeg har smurt meg ... )

- Det er VARMT

- Men det er fremdeles ganske vakkert


The poisonous spider in the bathroom

Last week we discovered to our great fear and disbelief that the black spider in our bathroom was eating its husband. This could only mean one thing. We have a Black Widow in our bathroom, and it is about to have babies. A LOT of babies. So, earlier this week it laid its eggs and is now guarding them like a hawk. Scary spider-lady. Now we are just waiting for the poisonous spider-babies to come out of their eggs and kill us all!

Anyway. This week in Antsirabe, we have all been healthy and good. We have done a lot of tourist stuff in and outside the city of Antsirabe. We have walked about an hour to see a waterfall. And as we walked alongside of the many rice fields I could not stop thinking about how amazing this country is.

Tahina er en av de gassiske jentene som skal til Norge etter nyttr

Tahina og Narintra. Narintra skal til Kenya etter nyttr

Kaja, Mary og Asenath p tur!

Av en eller annen grunn var det viktig vaske kuene

We have also seen a very famous lake where the "Malagasy Romeo and Juliet" killed themselves because they could not have each other. Tough life.. The lake was very beautiful though, and as we sat by the shore, we deeply regretted not bringing our bathing suits.

Idyll i vannkanten

We have made cheese with the president of Andraikiba branch. Making cheese is one of the programs this branch has to earn money for activities for the youth. It was a lot of fun. We have also learnt how to make silk at the local silk factory here in Andraikiba.

Lager ost sammen med presidenten for Anraikiba branch i Antsirabe

One day we went for a picknic with the members of Andraikiba branch and the president. We ate typical Malagasy food; sausages boiled in some green leafs with rice on the side. Yummy : ) We played games with the members, some typical Norwegian games, some typical Kenyan games and a lot of Malagazy games. It is amazing how people can have a wonderful time together without being able to speak with one another.

Spiser plser med grnt tilbehr som bare finnes p Madagaskar og ris

Noen av medlemmene i Andraikiba branch

: ) Ingrid

Hello stranger

It has been a while since my last update, mainly because we?ve either been sick or travelling. The 2ndof November we left Tana to go to Antsirabe. A City where three of the four CfC participants are from. Shortly after we arrived Kaja and I got food poisoning and were sick the rest of the week. ivind visited us the last days, and we spent some good days eating on restaurants and having a good time.

Last Thursday we went to a different city called Fianarantsoa. The day after we arrived the FI.KRI.ZA.MA branch celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their building, which was financed by the Norwegian KFUK/KFUM. So we attended a big party, together with 100-150 Malagasy people celebrating this building. We were almost treated like guest of honors since we are from Norway. Fun times. Later that week we visited a national park, a rainforest. There we saw wild lemurs and snakes!

Since I am really tired I am just going to upload a bunch of photos. Enjoy.

Kaja fikser mat

God natt :)

Vaccine against malaria?

As most things in this world, diseases are not just. Malaria is unfortunately no exception. Half of the world?s population is at risk of malaria. And it is the poorest countries that are the most vulnerable. This results in more than 250 million cases of malaria every year. Malaria can be transmitted over to people of any age and it is spread through a bite of an infected mosquito. If malaria is not treated properly and quickly it is often fatal. It is estimated that 20 % of child deaths in Africa are related to malaria.

There are ways to avoid being infected by the disease. There are tablets that block the growth of the disease in your body (The most common sold in Norway are Lariam and Malarone). However, the tablets are not 100 % secure, they are very expencive, they have several bieffects and should not be used over longer periods. Other ways to protect yourself is with mosquito nets, indoor residual spraying and basically covering up exposed skin. WHO gives out musquito nets for free in malaria areas.

Today VG posted an article about a breakthrough in the search for a vaccine against this disease. Hopefully a vaccine will be reality in a couple of years. But despite this great breakthrough, there is a reason that the poorest countries are the most vulnerable. The people can not afford to prevent themselves from being exposed to malaria.The other problem is that the educational level in the population where the disease is most dangerous is very low. Information about prevention and the seriousness of the disease is not known to everybody. So I hope that if the vaccine becomes a reality, WHO and other organizations will give the vaccines out for free and continue the information work they are doing now.

Source: World Health Organization

What a wonderful surprise!

This morning, I was met by the most wonderful surprise. Ever since I got here I have been begging Kaja for a baby chicken. To my great disappointment, she always declines my request. But this morning, Kaja and Hery woke me up with the sentence; Ingrid? We have a surprise for yooouuuu..!? And there they were, with a basket with TWO baby chickens. I got to cuddle with them in my bed. :)

But unfortunately they were only two days old, and had to be returned to their mother. But it was a great morning. Later we tried (for the second time) to make my new favorite candy/boller. They are called mofo baoline, pronounced moff ball. Of course it sort of failed once again.

These past two weeks we have been working at the E.B.D school we live next to and planning the youth camp we are organizing. It started today.
The work we did at the E.B.D school was mostly teaching and cooking. We had English lessons with the older kids, learning them how to buy things, talking about the weather, food and their hobbies. The students at the school get one meal each day. So some days we got to make the food for them and then giving it to them. This is one action to prevent malnutrition and to teach the student about the proper nutrition. It has been really fun to teach the students, because they are very eager to learn English.

Some days ago we actually bought two live chickens, slaughtered them, ribbed them, cooked them and ate them.

I of course just watched. I thought that I should leave the killing to Kaja, since she is so pro in killing mice. (Which we still have, they keep me awake at night talking loudly to each other) Unfortunately we?re not capturing a lot of mice in our mousetrap, mostly humans and dogs.

The youth camp is sort of a leader training camp. We are having almost all the lectures. The subjects will be; What is a good leader?, gender, climate change, health with a focus on HIV/AIDS, information about the CfC program and about the YWCA. We have planned to do a lot of training in group dynamics and team building as well. I have good expectations for these four days! Update will come when the camp is over. The participants have already arrived, and soon we will start, a bit after schedule because everything here is African-time. : )

And yes. We are OUT OF WATER. Or, it stopped working last night. And our spare water is empty. Fingers crossed it will come back during the night. It is really uncool to live together with 30 girls and NO water.

Have a good night! : )

- -Ingrid

Photos; Kaja

Home sweet home

We are back from two weeks in a small village called Miarinarivo. There we worked as teachers at a high school, worked with the FI.KRI.ZA.MA youth (YWCA of Madagascar), visited women in prison, went on several fieldtrips, worked as Pousse-Pousse (man with wagon) drivers, tried to be African, took a bath in a geyser, visited a cheese factory, helped nuns with gardening, visited a beautiful waterfall, ate meatballs with brown sauce, potatoes and pea stew TWO days in a row(!), stood in the center of Madagascar, made soya-tea and peanut butter from scratch and met some wonderful people.

Lager peanttsmr

Var p grd og kjpte litt salat og litt youghurt

Knuser soyabnner til soya-te

En av klassene vi hadde

Betalte Kaja noen tusen for dra meg rundt i denne kjrra. Kaja er dyr i drift.

Kenyanerne og bleikfisene

Str midt p Madagaskar

Kaja og mor Miarinarivo

Kjempen og liten dame

Hun str p t og jeg byer meg ned. Gassiske damer er l-a-v-e!

Kos i lagunen

Vasset litt

Det ser liksom ikke like naturlig ut nr vi gjr det..

Hery fjerner skallet fra peanttene

Mary lager chabati. Typisk Kenyansk mat

All in all, we had a wonderful time in Miarinarivo.

Love from Ingrid

The cat project!

Yes. WE HAVE A LOT OF MICE! Since we started catching them four days ago we have killed five. Out of these Kaja has been the master of killing the mice.. Therefore I have named her the house cat. Or Kitty.. Depends on how well a job she is doing. Our new and so it would seem not so improved mice trap just caught a new one. Without killing the little thing. The house cat refused to get out of bed, so Sivert and I were left with no cat. I didn't kill it, it died by it self. Puuh.

This has basically been my life the past days since I think I might have got the "Malaria"... Neidaa, men det hadde vrt ganske typisk meg.. knock on wood.

nighty night. :)

Exhumation, mice and stuff.

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 p Norsk:
Vi har mus! mange mus, tror vi hvertfall.. De brker mye om natten. Kaja trkket p en tidligere i dag. Mye museblod p teppet. :) Vi har vrt p en sermoni for gassiske forfedre, der familien graver opp graven og pakker liket inn i nye klr. Veldig utenkelig for nordmenn, men ganske interessant ta del i.

Vi har beskt 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 p grunn av opptyer.

Vi har vrt p besk hos en dame med navn Fara og spist lunsj med familien hennes.

Ellers har vi det veldig flott! Vi tilpasser oss livet i vrt intime kollektiv! S lang gr det veldig fint! :)

Bestemor og Bestefar; Jeg vet ikke om dere har ftt en telefon fra Andor Gjelsvik enda? Han sa han skulle ringe.. Men Jeg skulle hilse s masse til dere og hele holteslekta! Vi viste han rundt p KFUK/KFUM skolen vi bor rett ved siden av. Veldig hyggelig mann. :) Hper alt str bra til hjemme.

Les mer i arkivet Januar 2012 Desember 2011 November 2011