My 19 year old brother is currently serving a full-time mission for our church. He is living in Madagascar. Here is some perspective from people halfway around the world in a developing country. This is a blurb from his last email that I found extremely interesting:
"kids here have some of the most ridiculous games. 1)little girls are always playing the rock game. they take a few fist sized rocks and make a family and talk in different voices for them, and when one is talking to another they hit the one listening with the one thats talking in rythm. funny. 2)boys play karate fight. not just wrassling, but taking karate stances and making chinese sounds when they kick or stomp and roundhouse kicking all the time. 3)playing soccer with balls that are so worn out it would definitely have been trash in the states , or with balls made of plastice bags smushed together and held with string or rubber.
funny experiences---walking around people always say "good morning" to us in english (even if it is 8 at night ) and every now and then they want to try to talk more english so they stop and either say the normal hello how are you doing stuff or just random english. but they slur alot together and we cant tell what they are saying so we are like, "what? i dont understand" very slowly and clearly for them and like 3 times this week teenage guys have just been like "yes. i am not very good speak english" and then just walk away without saying anything else. its pretty funny and sad too, cuz you can tell they thought they were pretty good, but im pretty sure the teachers are the problem. we have 2 former investigators that taught english classes that were horrible at english. haha and all the teenage guys sound like kermit the frog when they switch to english, but just normal in malagasy. nice people.
---another story. the other day we went to an investigators and talked with his family and the mom had the funniest things to say. she asked where we were from and we told her Amerika and she was all, "Oh, from Paradise" (which is just paradisa in malagasy ) so that was pretty funny, then we talked about why its not exactly paradise and her argument was "Well, there arent any poor people in America" and when we explained that there were she was so gaga, or astonished or baffled, and then said, "Well there aren't any ugly people in America." pretty much how they know about america is through big films and music videos, especially pop and rap ones. so its a little one sided. its kind of a joke with malagasy's that all they do is eat rice, pray, and sleep. haha. rice is their life essence. i love it. oh, alot of malagasy's are blown away when they find out that Amerikans eat rice too. haha alot dont know that you can get it in amerika. haha. i love their simple minds. anyways, then the mom was talking about our eyes and she thought that all blue eyes could see perfectly and elder blaylock said "That not true. I'm blind almost" they all laughed like it was the funniest thing ever until he started explaining about contacts. man, she was seriously blown away by that. by that time she was pretty much yelling everything just cuz she was so amazed and then after we explained them i took one of mine out and showed her and she threw her hands up and just held her head for a sec, then pretty much yelled, "AMERIKANS ARE SO SMART. THATS GENIOUS. THEY ARE SO ADVANCED. GLASSES IN THEIR EYES." then she was asking if we could still see off to the sides and she was just so amazed. that was probly the funniest night ever since i have been out here. plus it just makes it that much funner to understand her in a foreign language and to see her face, and in malagasy the word for glasses means literally "eye replacements". somehow in the context that just made me laugh harder too. whoo-wee."