There is a culture of “moramora” in Madagascar that might be translated loosely to mean, “take it easy.” Generally, the push and drive of life in North America takes a backseat to a more calm, social, easy-going lifestyle in most parts of Madagascar. (Large cities, particularly the capital, seem to have picked up on a bustling lifestyle). Plans in my former community are loose and might change at the last minute. Meetings began within an hour, usually, of the “start time” and went as long as they needed to go. Lunchtimes are two hours or longer to accommodate a sit-down meal together and a nap. Church services continue for three hours or more and the afternoons are free for time with family. Work is hard (teaching in the heat of the day, working fields, carrying life’s necessities home from the market, carrying water, cooking over charcoal) so rest is necessary and planned into the lifestyle.
Now I’m back home in Canada in a new lifestyle. Cars race along roads, little devices keep communication moving a mile a minute, and signs everywhere advertise the newest/next best bargain. I can’t say that this is all that different from what I left behind one year ago. But the stark contrast feels a little bit like leaving behind “mora-mora” and coming back to “more-more.” That’s a tough shift.
I left Madagascar three weeks ago today. There’s so much to say about what I have experienced and where I have been, but I also find that the words get stuck and expressing the shift in feelings is lost. Joining these seemingly contradictory philosophies shall be a challenge.
Thankfully, as I’m adjusting, there’s a puppy pal who came along with me and she needs no words.