update from expedition medic Jo Osmont

“We’ve been on site for 10 days now and everyone is settling in really well. It’s a friendly group and everyone’s getting on brilliantly. We’ve been working hard learning allsorts of new skills – 3 of the guys have passed their PADI Open Water and lots of us are starting to pass our Benthic identification tests too. One eager person has even passed their fish test – the rest of us are decidedly lagging behind. It’s been quite windy for the past few days so instead of diving we’ve been out in the spiny forest mapping the Baobab trees – hot work in the sun but it’s amazing to see these gigantic trees and all the other wildlife. We even found a boa (thank goodness there are no poisonous snakes in Madagascar!) We’ve also been enjoying the beautiful beaches and last night a few of us organized “Spacehopper Olympics” – the first event of its kind in the world we believe. It’s basically a cross-country course complete with hurdles and water hazards but instead of running round it you spacehop! Congratulations to team 4 on their victory. We’ve also been working on our Malagasy and Bic gave us a lesson yesterday although I think it’ll take a few more classes before we’re even remotely fluent. It’s good fun being able to chat with the locals when we go down to the village for English lessons and to stock up on the lovely peanut brittle they sell.”

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