At the Airport

I'm waiting at the airport for the plane to load. Got up at 6:30 and was ready to leave early. The kids left. Elson and Hanitra left for some shopping. Then at 8:30 when Pastor David was to take me to the airport, nobody. At nine, Elson and Hanitra returned and as we got in their car, they called Pastor David. He had small problem on the car. We got the the airport, and he called and said he was on the way. Oh well.

Mother's Grave

The Elson's left to finish some paper work in the morning then dropped off their kids at the house (where I am staying), while they went to see if they could locate mother's grave. They found the right cemetery and the book with the grave site in it. They came home for me and the kids and we set off. Drove around in Tana - which is hilly with a lot of hidden more than alleys, but not much more. We got to the cemetery and found the office, but the location papers weren't there, neither was the man they had talked to earlier.

Getting Ready to Leave

Had a long trip up from Morondava - (10 hours, although 2 were wasted eating :) ). I enjoy the food at a Madagascar "McDonalds", your choice of rice with cow meat, chicken meat, or pig. You do get a broth sauce with the chicken and they usually include a greens broth as well. Coffee is 10 cents, the meal is $1.25. Water is $.75 for a liter and a 1/2 in a bottle that is supposed to be clean. Don't think I have gotten sick yet from it.


Funeral today. Pastor, 43, had been sick – diabetes, tumor, but was not expected to die just yet. So I got to participate in a classic Malagasy funeral rather than whatever today. Had an offer for the beach, too. I came over to the church. They used to old church rather than the new one.

Efa velona Jesosy!

I never cease to marvel at the ability of the Malagasy to sing. A 1000 member choir is what the church service amounted to this Easter. Wonderful, even without understanding more that a smattering of the words. Of course, the offering was a bit long with everyone needing to go around the plate, including another 300 children. But all are dressed for Easter, with 20 infants being baptized all in white.

Seminary at Morondava

I entered one classroom and then talked to the students and faculty. I got to teach at a seminary in Madagascar!

I started with a discussion of Matthew 5: “Blessed are the poor in spirit for they shall see God.” I talked about how people see wealth, health, power, etc as making for happiness, but that God (who sees things differently from people) turns this on its head. True happiness comes when we see God, but we don't see God in the midst of our success, but rather in the midst of our failures.


Visited the church school, primary and high school, and the hospital, which includes a “leper colony”. The school is the first and only private school in Morondava, which is the center for the region. It had a third of its buildings destroyed by arson a couple of years ago, and then last year another building was destroyed by a cyclone. They are serving about 150 primary students and another 150 high school. The rooms are small, ie crowded but from the lessons I saw on the board they are learning well.


13 hours on the road. This time a smooth road, but long. Seeing new country though. I have never been this way in Madagascar. You go over the mountains (think road and snake) and descend a little ways into a wide plain. It is hilly but has rivers running over the bottom areas. The hills are dry but covered with grass and occasional scrub trees.

Broken Car

Coming to pick us up, Elson got to the next town and then had to send back to Ejeda for the hospital mechanic to come and fix the car. The next day they came in late to Tsiombe to take us up to Tana. Steve came with us, to do some errands in Tana and then go down to Ejeda to guide them in starting a Bible translation project for Mahafaly.

Farming God's Way

Steve teaches farming using what He calls “God's Way”. He advocates using a strong cover of mulch. He tells the farmers to dig a hole for each plant and mix into the hole some fertilizer, here using cow manure but compost would fit. Then plant each plant/seed, following with a strong mulch cover. Here he tells them to use grass, it gets cut quite long, cover up to 2 feet deep over the whole field. Obviously there is room for some variety depending on how tightly the grass lies. Then wait for harvest. Don't do like I do and dig around to see if the seeds are germinating.

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