moving right along…

June 28

Movie night last night! We were all overwhelmed by the unbelievable curry that Manora made for dinner, so we piled onto a bed and watched a horribly-dubbed-French-pirated copy of the new Indiana Jones on someone’s laptop. It was… brutal. I may or may not have fallen asleep. (Ryan definitely did.)

despite the overcast morning, Mother Nature pulls through for yet another magnificent sunset on Coco Beach.

despite the overcast morning, Mother Nature pulls through for yet another magnificent sunset on Coco Beach.

And our beach excursion to Manombo was postponed until tomorrow, due to today’s questionable weather.

June 29

We’re currently sitting on an amazing beach within the boundaries of Manombo Special Reserve. Marlin brought us here because he’s been telling us – almost threatening us- not to swim in the ocean at Coco Beach due to the high density of sharks. But here there’s a pretty sizable river that flows out of the forest and runs parallel to the ocean for quite a ways, and he comes here to swim laps (really slowly – I wish I had a video). The weather is perfect, and we have coconuts, which are currently (and dangerously) being dissected. Sigh. Oh, and I LOVE beach soccer. That is all.

family stroll on the beach (the water in the foreground is the river, the ocean is on the other side of the sandbar)

family stroll on the beach (the water in the foreground is the river, the ocean is on the other side of the sandbar)

Marlin attacking a coconut

Marlin attacking a coconut

sunset on the drive back to Farafangana

sunset on the drive back to Farafangana

July 2

between Farafangana and Vondrozo

between Farafangana and Vondrozo

between Farafangana and Vondrozo (I miss my hat.)

between Farafangana and Vondrozo (I miss my hat.)

Back in Vondrozo. On the 29th, after our day at the beach, we watched the Euro Cup final at the office, which went way past our bedtime. The 30th was the WWF monthly meeting, for which all of the agents met at the office. We discussed the upcoming forest inventory in extreme (exhausting) detail. I’m going back to Tsaratanana (!!) with Augustin, Sarah and Ryan, which I am beyond amped about. We bumped along in the Land Rover yesterday to make our way back to Chez Mme. Seing in Vondrozo.

We leave tomorrow for inventory though, so we don’t even really have time to get settled. Last night we had a dinner of salty omelettes at Le Flamboyant (now fondly and incorrectly referred to as “La Splendide”), and then I had one of the strangest nights of the trip. I was sharing a bed with Jamila, and I woke up around 1am because she was shivering – like, really shivering. I asked if she was alright, and she said she was freezing, which was bizarre, since Manora and I were both having trouble sleeping because we were sweating so much. She was convinced that she was having a panic attack, so I stayed awake with her for hours, talking gently to calm her down and sharing my iPod. This morning, she was feeling awful at 5am when I got up to go on a lemur-seeking excursion with Marlin, so she stayed in bed. (The lemur trip was pretty unsuccessful, but the sunrise was lovely.)

sun coming up over the forest

sun coming up over the forest

When I got back from lemur-watching, Jamila was not in good shape. She was pale and clammy and had passed out in the bathroom, and couldn’t sit up without getting light-headed. She’s been blacking out and having intense diarrhea and performing all sorts of scary tricks like that. Marlin and I took her up to the hospital and she was barely conscious, but they managed to prick her finger for a malaria test, and the doctor prescribed some fun antibiotics and anti-virals and some sodium thing for hypotension. So she is medicated and sleeping. I hope this works out for the best.

July 3

sunrise over Vondrozo

sunrise over Vondrozo

I’m back in Ambohimana! I like this village. This time I’m with Sarah and Augustin – sadly sans Ryan, as Jamila’s illness required her to be escorted to the hospital in Farafangana for a few days, so Ryan replaced her in Antaninary, where he’ll be doing inventory with Charles and Florent. We shared the Land Rover with them as far as Mahazoarivo, where we left them and continued on to Ambohimana. We’ve been sort of lazing about here, since we’re not going to Tsaratanana until tomorrow, and that same cute little old bearded lady brought us a heaping plate of steamed manioc to snack on, yummmm. I need an early bedtime tonight, though. Charles, Ryan and I played cards and drank a few THB last night – maybe a bit too late.

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