Fetim-pirenena. What is there NOT to say about this holiday? The festivities start an entire week before the actual holiday, and it doesn’t let up even after the day has passed. It is Thursday today, normally a day I dread each week, two days after Madagascar’s Independence Day, and the very low turnout for market day is very surprising. But back to the festivities, it is karioke (spelling?) until 2am every morning, 24/7 drunkeness which leads to even more verbal harrassment then even I can tolerate (and I can handle my fair share). I had every intention of locking myself in my house all day on the actual holiday, reading and watching movies on my computer. However, that was shot down, fast. I was fetched at 8a to help cook for–well I really can’t be sure who–the kid’s soccer team? All I know was it was 40 to 50 kids and their coaches (?) and they were wearing matching tshirts with Kilonga (betsileo word for children) on them. So angamba? It took four hours, but was the most fun I have had in a while. Lala (I consider her my big sister/mom figure/best Gasy friend at site), Olivia, two of their friends, and I prepared rice (obviously) and a carrot/meat stew for the group. During those four hours we spent the time gossiping (or me trying to understand them talking sooo fast), sneaking bites of the delicious meal we were cooking, eating akoho, and drinking plenty of THBs (the most popular beer in country). I witnessed little Mariot, who can’t be older than 12 yrs old, sneaking sips of Olivia’s beer. I couldn’t help but laugh and yet was quickly shhhhh’d by this kid.Lala cooked me lunch and we ate together, consuming a few more THBs. Sidenote, Lala is an absolutely amazing cook; her pork chops, oh my gosh!
I made an appearance at the tsena fety, where I was required to sit on stage and watch the performances in front of an audience of thousands. Mijery, vazaha! Wait, white person…where?!? ;). My village has 12 fokontany‘s (I believe, again I could be wrong, it’s probably more) and the children had a dance-off. Gotta say, my neighborhood, Centrale/Atsimotsena (whoot whoot represent!) killed it and was the best by far! Four dances, all intricately choreographed to music, so good. Mariot and Maria (the cutest “couple” ever, please end up together you two) did a salsa-esc dance together in front of the crowd with their friends as back-up dancers. I nearly died from it being so cute. Depending on how good it is, the audience throws money up on stage for the kids to split as a tip. We then went from tsena to tsena and caroled each mpivarotra for more ariary tips. That definitely created a crowd. Why is the vazaha singing and dancing with the kids? Does she live here? Why yes, yes I do. And I have been for over a month.
So all in all, Mada Independence Day was fun and not as a complete train wreck as I thought it would be. But for the US’s Independence Day, I think I’m going to keep it quiet, watch a movie, eat a ton of yummy goodies friends and families have been sending me, and teach an English Club class. Enjoy the bbqs and fireworks for me. Never thought I would miss hotdogs so much.
Tratry ny fety! (Happy Holiday!)
PS. Expect a huge influx of blog posts over the next week. Much to inform you about. Miss you all.