Jazz the cook goes off into the forest to cut more firewood wearing a blazer and basketball shorts and comes back with a felled tree over his shoulder. It’s now week two of my research project, the second week of camping in the woods and staring at ducks for five hours a day, and I’m …Continue reading "Antananarivo, May 12, 2022"
If you told me I would take a fifteen-hour bus ride followed by two separate five-hour motorcycle rides (walking the bike and pushing it through the mud half of the time) in order to see the world’s rarest duck in its natural habitat, I would say yes, of course, that sounds like something I would …Continue reading "Bemanevika, May 4, 2022"
We follow after our professor like lost ducklings down the beach, dodging fishermen as they haul in their nets or groups of children digging for crabs in the sand. Our guides from the Institut Halieutique et des Sciences Marines are in deep conversation with the local fishermen. I see them repeatedly point far out to …Continue reading "Tulear, April 5, 2022"
My host mother keeps a flock of geese in her front yard. They swarm around me honking in the early morning whenever I approach the water spigot to brush my teeth. She says it’s because they think I’m bringing them breakfast. For the next two weeks I’ll be staying with a host family in Andasibe, …Continue reading "Andasibe Rural Commune – March 13, 2022"
In some areas of Madagascar, it’s considered bad luck not to respond to an animal’s call. At least this is the excuse I give as I hike down to the campground with the rest of my classmates, whistling back and forth with the Vasa parrot perched somewhere in the canopy below. I can’t quite mimic …Continue reading "Ankafobe Forest, February 22, 2022"
Between classes, we go down to the river to search for chameleons. On a good day, we normally find one or two, plus or minus a couple lizards and maybe a frog if we’re lucky. But today must be something special. Maybe the chameleons can feel the oncoming cyclone, the slight drizzle in the air, …Continue reading "February 14, 2022"