I am devoting a blog specifically to my dear friends Marzette and Solange. They have become my best friends here and they mean the world to me.
They live at ILOFAV, in the basement of the building next to me. Whenever I want to talk to them, I just holler down at them to get their attention. Or I’ll sing to them. Usually in an operatic tone. They were students here, learning sewing and cooking, but didn’t want to leave after their year was done. So they stayed. And I’m so glad they did.
|Marzette and Solange. A fitting "personality photo"|
So a couple days later, I asked her to help me manasa lamba (wash clothes). This gave her another opportunity to make fun of me. I clearly didn’t know what I was doing. “How do you wash clothes in America?” I told her we use a machine. She holds out her hands and says “THESE are your machine”. I was amazed by her speed and efficiency for washing clothes. During that time, I let out a casual burp (I closed mouth and said excuse me, don’t worry) and Marzette stares at me with wide eyes and said “repeat again!” From then on I knew I needed to keep her around!
Solange is an absolute SWEETHEART! It’s an interesting contrast, those two sisters. When Stephanie was here and we would spend time with them, she noted how Marzette was like me and Solange was like our sister Mary, who has a calmer, quieter, more peaceful character than mine. [However, don’t be fooled by Mary’s shy demeanor. When we’re at home, she’s just as crazy as me…if not, more!]
|Graceful and Beautiful Solange|
We started off just by taking walks together after English class (they are my most devoted students coming to ALL of my classes - beginner, intermediate, and advanced). They laugh at my attempt at Malagasy and I laugh at my inability to understand their English. But it was on these walks that I found comfort and love in them.
|Marzette is very mozoto (diligent) at studying english. Here, she is copying words out of a Malgasy-English dictionary at lunch|
Let me just say I could go on and on about them... I have so many stories about them and I honestly don't know what I would do without them here.
|Friendship Photo :)|
|Marzette loves wearing my "vazah (foreigner) bag"|
|Playing on the rocks|
|Hanging out with Lee, the other YAGM in Tana|
They took care of me when I was sick, they shared in my excitement when I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of my sister, Stephanie (Marzette and I even made up a little ditty about it), and they comforted me and smothered me with love when I was balling my eyes out at 12:30am.
|Marzette, Solange, and Flaviette came to drop Stephanie off at the airport with me at 10:30pm|
They know every member of my family and were very happy to be able to talk to them on Christmas day. (The fam called my phone from skype). The LOVED Stephanie (who doesn't, honestly) and it was so special for me to share them with her. Their sister, Flaviette, just arrived to ILOFAV early December to study there as well. Flaviette is very shy and quiet, but she really liked Steph... she's still warming up to me.
They are always welcome to my loft, where I usually have snacks or coke for them - I always enjoy being in their company and want them to feel comfortable in my home too. When Flaviette arrived, I hung out in their room that night. Marzette offered me fruit and orange soda, but I wasn't hungry and not a huge fan of the drink so I kindly turned down both of them. Marzette was not happy about that. "SARAHA! (she adds an extra "ah" to my name, which I love) I come to your house and eat your food and drink your water and coke. And you come here and do not take ANYTHING! Now EAT!" I could tell that Marzette wants me to feel comfortable in their house as well. And it meant so much to me to have her fuss at me like that :)
There will be many more stories of my loves, Marzette and Solange (and yes, Flaviette too). I am so blessed to have them in my life. And if you are willing, please send up a little prayer for them. Nothing in particular, mostly just in thanksgiving for them.
Love ya, mean it!