I spent this afternoon walking around a new part of my village near the port where large canoes travel down to Mananjary, the next town south of Mahanoro. As I walked by fishermen bringing in the catch of the day and women washing their clothes in the canal, I ran into some children I had befriended the week prior. I sat down underneath a palm tree avoiding the strong sun rays of the afternoon. I turned around to see a bunch of children watching me intently. I motioned for them to come over. We made a circle and sat together. Lucky for me I always carry cards or some friendly kid distraction. Today’s lucky game was UNO! I pulled out the deck of cards as the children squirmed pointed to the vibrant blue, red, yellow, and green cards. I explained with my little Malagasy and big gestures how to play UNO! Before I knew it, grandmas, fishermen, women washing clothes, and hoards of children gathered to watch ten kids and myself play cards. Every time a new number was placed in the deck I would say “TWO- BLUE!” and show the number two on my hand. This continued for a bit until the children and audience alike began giggling and repeating after me- number and color…”Trreee Grrrreeen!” I emphasized the –TH by pointing to my tongue. Everyone simultaneously pointed to their tongues and said “TH TH TH THHHREEEE”.
Needless to say today was by far the best day I have had here in Mahanoro. I sat underneath a palm tree playing UNO and teaching half the village colors and numbers in English. Once the game finished and the sun began to set, I was escorted back to my home holding hands with fourteen smiling children.