Here is a brief video of a native Madagascar instrument, the Valiha.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
The third weekend of January we flew to Fort Dauphin at the southern tip of Madagascar. We had great church meetings and training. We met with the missionaries, Elders Rasmussen and Morgan.
These poor elders have to look at this view from their front window every day.
The next weekend we made the eight hour drive to Ambositra and Fianarantsoa over very curvy mountainous roads with "car eating" pot holes. The ride was beautiful, but taxing. We had great experiences with our members and missionaries when we arrived.
At the beginning of February we flew back to Reunion. Our trip was delayed a few days because of a class 4 cyclone that passed between Reunion and Madagascar. These are not uncommon in this neighborhood this time of year. I had to interview all of the branch presidents, choose a new district president (like choosing a stake president), call counselors and have a full day zone conference with the missionaries. All of this in about a day and a half. We had a few hours to see some beautiful sights. The photos below are from the Salazie Valley in the center of the island. It is one of the most spectacular places on earth.
Anna at the beach with Sister Heap
The day after our return from Reunion we were visited by our dear friends, Randy and Jann Paul from Highland, Utah. Randy served in the Franco-Belgium Mission with us and then was my college roommate. Their son Jeron was one of the first four missionaries to serve in Madagascar, before it was a mission. He taught and baptized Roger Rakotomamonjy who is in the photo with his wife Prisca. Roger is now the stake president of the Manakambahiny Stake, one of the two stakes here in Madagascar. The next day Randy, Jann, Anna and I traveled to Andasibe to the lemur reserve in the mountain rainforest to have an experience with those little animals.
The last photo is of a cute little girl we saw at one of the wards we visited.