Thursday 13th December 2007
Coco Beach, Andavadoaka
18:52 (UK), 21:52 (Madagascar)
Firstly, I’d like to say hi to Fiona’s dad if he is reading this. Thanks
for listening in! Now for the update:
After feeling like death for 2 days and having half a day completely in bed,
with toilet dashes, I am better and feeling fantastic for it. Everything is
great now. Once your world has been rendered insignificant due to some
raging bacterial battle going on somewhere between your oesophagus and lower
ileum, when it final appears again it looks amazing.
I thought a walk would kill me off yesterday, but after a 2 hour walk from
camp to the only spot in a 40km radius with signal for mobile I started to
feel remarkable better, and today have been very nearly normal. It is great
to be back here; and really great to meet all the Blue Ventures staff and
volunteers here. It feels like I am finally getting to understand the
workings of an organisation I helped to set up and have been working for on
and off for the last 4 years. Every minute I am enjoying at the moment, and
I have finally gotten over the heat. So it appears everything has come at once
– getting better, sun burn decreasing in intensity, really enjoying the food
and generally getting acclimatised.
The best thing about being here is that you can find the space to get away
from everyone and everything- you can find a spot on a beach or in the spiny
forest where you can’t hear anyone or see anything that has to do with a
human. That is when I am at my most happiest. Despite it being great to
get my own space the last few days have also shown me how much I enjoy being
with people and how good it is to be around the other BV staff – most of whom
I have never met before – along with the volunteers – whom i am enjoying
getting to know also.
The BV staff here have helped me understand more how, from London, I
can work best with the team here. I hope that by me being here they will
understand more fully the needs and demands of BVCO also. They are also a
lot of fun and I am now wishing that I was staying for Christmas.
I have to get to Morondava though for work, and to meet with the project
There is another issue with Christmas in Andavadoaka – I have got quite
attached to the turkey that they intend to eat. “Stuffing”, as it is
called, – is incredibly dog like, so much so that it follows our field
scientist Tristan around and even tried to come manta towing with him today
(possibly not the most suitable occupation for a turkey); it waits for you
outside the toilet and lives on the porch of the very person that is going
to eat him for Christmas. My attachment with this turkey makes it hard for
me to stay to witness its death. But I guess it has had a very long life
(it is an eldery turkey) and has definitely had a good last couple of weeks
roaming Coco beach and eating rice and beans. Still, something inside of me
wants to break it free.
Work continues, and Larissa is due to arrive on Sunday – it will be an
intense 4 days of stove work next week. The best thing about work here is
that it is started by a morning swim in the sea grass shallows amongst the
needlefish and goatfish followed by breakfast in good company and a mango!
What more can one ask for? I can’t think of anything at all!
Go on, Ellie. Free Stuffing (great name BTW). Free the Andavadoaka One!
If not, on Christmas Day we’ll drink a toast to his health, sorry …. memory (and then proceed to devour one of his relatives).