I firmly believe in the beauty and importance of the little joys and moments in life. Here are some of my “favorite things” in Madagascar.
- The children who live across the fence from me strike a pose or dance each time they see me. (Imagine Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”). When I, too, strike a pose, they squeal in excitement.
- Keyssi, Mama Jeannette’s two-year-old granddaughter, likes to dance naked in the yard. She may only be two, but that little girl can shake.
- One of the neighborhood girls chases me down the street and yells good morning whether it is the morning, afternoon, or evening.
- When we eat white beans (and rice, of course) at lunch
- When Keyssi pretends to be a cow and crawls over my lap mooing and pretending to eat my hands
- Josey, Mama Jeannette’s four-year-old grandson, spent an entire morning running around, swinging his hips from side to side and singing, “Bella soa Morgheny!” (Translation: Morghen is beautiful).
- Each time I clearly hear and understand which hymn we will sing in church and turn to the correct page before the native Malagasy speaker sitting next to me. (Madagascar has certainly changed me, but my competitive nature remains).
- When my friend, Ravo, invites me to go to church with her family and then eat lunch at their home on Sunday afternoons
- When Mama Jeannette’s fourteen-year-old grandson, Rayan, challenged me to an arm-wrestling contest
- The morning devotional which welcomes each new day at SALFA - the Lutheran clinic where I work. Doctors, patients, and families sit in the waiting room, sing, pray, and listen to a short sermon before beginning their work or treatment. It is such an incredibly beautiful way to start a day.
- When I see a particularly cute baby while administering vaccines at the clinic
- The overwhelming love and joy of the students and teachers at the Toliara Lutheran School for the Blind.
- When Mama Jeannette complimented my laundry skills. I had no idea how to wash my laundry by hand when I first arrived. My amateur abilities used to inspire giggles, so Mama Jeannette’s compliment meant a great deal.
- When I understand parts of the sermon.
- When my students ask me about an English phrase they have heard, like what it means to be ‘a big cheese’ or ‘to bite someone’s head off.’
- Moonlight dance parties in the yard with Mama Jeannette’s grandchildren
I pray your day is filled with small and beautiful moments.