Saturday, April 16, 2011
A Trip to the Post Office
Today I decided to mail two postcards. The nearest post office is in Ranomafana, the next town over. On the way from my room to the car, three people asked me what I was doing and subsequently helped themselves to the postcards in my hand. “Oh, sure, you can look at those…” Actually they probably can’t even read Malagasy, let alone English, but hey – there are pictures! :P By now I am completely fine with the fact that anything done outside my home IS everyone’s business. ;)
About 60 seconds before you get to the post office, there is a police checkpoint. I smile and salute at the three policemen chilling on the side of the road. They smile and salute back, waving me on.
Pulling my silver Corolla up to the post office, there is a group of about fifteen guys outside that I have not seen before. Staring at me, of course (the obvious foreigner). Getting out of my car I sent forth greetings to them all, “Akoriabe!” To this a guy replied, “You have a very nice smell.”
How he knew this from twenty feet away I had no idea. I did shower this morning, but was not wearing any scents or such. I was a bit confused, but, as I rarely get complimented in English down here in the rain forest, said “Thank you” anyway. It was then that the man motioned to my face – “Yes, a very nice smile.” Ohhh…gotcha! lol. Smell, smile, gotta love the accents!
Upon entering the building, my postman friend took the postcards, commented on the photos, flipped them over, and read them (this makes person #4!). Since he’s practicing his English, it’s perfectly natural to read other people’s mail, right?! Then he went to the ominous back room to start the ten minute process of finding out which stamps they had and how he could possibly fulfill my request to send postcards to America. During this back room time, yet another person came up and took my postcards to inspect (this guy was filling out some sort of official-looking paperwork). I chatted with him for a little while and he said my Malagasy was very good for only living here for a year and a half. I told him I studied very hard because I want to share the gospel with the people here and up in the mountains and his face brightened up. He said he also believed in Jesus and lived and went to church in another town, so was very glad to hear that there were people here proclaiming the Good News.
Coming back with three stamps (to total about one US dollar), my post office friend and I licked them together, stuck them on each postcard, and dropped them in the box. The “real” mailman comes twice a week to drop off and pick up mail, so by Tuesday they should be heading out! :-)
Just another average errand run!
Oh, and did I mention my FAMILY is coming to visit me TOMORROW?!?!?!?!?! :D
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17