Ummmm, menatra aho. I think.

I have absolutely no idea what just happened. One minute I’m studying in my room and writing in my journal, the next, one of my host sisters is knocking on my door telling me I’m going to Lance’s to study. Lance lives in the house directly behind me, so I tend to see him a lot; we had language class together for two weeks before I got moved to a more advanced group. Normally, after coming home from the technical trainings at the Commune, I’ll spend an hour going over notes from the day in my room and then go downstairs to sit with my host family around the kitchen fire before dinner is ready at 7p. Never in the past three weeks have I left the house. Here, the unsaid rule is once the sun goes down, you stay in your houses. The reasons are numerous. That’s when the mosquitos start coming out, the drunks make their way to our villages’ bar, and possibly the “mpamosavy” (witches)–if the village even ‘has’ any come out to perform their rituals.

So I thought it was a little weird that at 615, when it’s pitch black outside, my family is having me walk to Lance’s house (literally 20 feet) to mianatra, but I just went with it.

Long story short, turns out that Lance and his mom had no idea what was going on when I arrived and I ended up having dinner by candlelight with just Lance (we both don’t have electricity). No mianatra-ing, just dinner. I tried to tell Lance’s mom I was confused by saying ‘menatra aho‘ thinking menatra was the word for confused, which btw is not, and she kept saying tsy menatra ianao, namanas, “don’t be shy/bashful, friends.” Yes menatra was in my dictionary under confused but I didn’t find out until later that it actually means bashful/shy/embarressed. My 17 yr old sister and 20 yr old brother explained to me later in my special Malagasy that I could understand that I was saying I was shy because I liked Lance. **hand to forehead.

And no matter how much I tried to explain that I meant tsy mazava, I don’t understand, I don’t understand what that was all about, all I got was ‘oh okay *wink wink*.’


4 thoughts on “Ummmm, menatra aho. I think.

  1. Janelle Nichole Enriquez says:

    Hi Christina! You may or may not remember sharing a locker with me in HRT 383. I’ve found your blog off of Facebook and read it every once in a while. I just got lost in it for the past hour haha. I wanted to say how awesome it is that you’re over there! I wish I had that courage and got to experience such an adventure. Thanks for sharing your stories!!! :)

  2. Kimmie Lough says:

    WOW…that must have been imbarrassing for you to have to deal with…it sounds so much like a Christina moment. I hope you are able to set them all straight. So it sounds like those kids are trying to play match maker…see even people that are 2000 miles away are doing the same things with you that we used to do to you. Sounds like it was a good night for you! Can’t wait to hear more. Miss you and don’t worry things will.get better as time goes on with the language.

  3. Laura Calvert says:

    haha! hmmmm love connection in madagasgar?? ;) just kidding!! what fun is life without a few awkward moments?

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