Saturday, June 11, 2011

On the road again

Ranomafana Painting Project
After moving out of my old site, I went up to Ranomafana to work with Valbio and Madagascar National Parks on Mike's project. We were assigned to paint the new visitors center for the park. There were 2 large rooms and another wall to paint in a week. The eight of us worked long days and finished some really great paintings as well as a topographical map.

River Trip
So for vacation we had planned on a group of 4 to go out to Tsingy. We ended up realizing that another group of 5 volunteers were going at the same time so our groups merged together. We spent 3 days going down a river in canoes and spotting various interesting things along the banks. We stopped at a gorgeous waterfall and eventually docked at a place to meet up with our "car". While we had reserved 4x4s to take us to the park, we were greeted by a camion, a very large vehicle usually used for transporting cattle. Long days in the car ensued. The good news is that Tsingy Bemaraha is totally worth it. The park is amazing and you actually have to wear a harness for a good portion of Grand Tsingy (the big rocks). We climbed up some huge rocks and into some small caves. We also visited Petit Tsingy which is the miniature version. The rocks are limestone and have been worn away over millions of years by rain.

Morondava and Baobobs
Coming back from Tsingy we stopped at the Avenue de Baobobs. It is very impressive. Some of the trees are thousands of years old and their scale is hard to capture in photographs. We got there right at sunset and stayed until it was almost dark. Morondava was great and we had a lot of fun exploring the town. It has the market featured in Bizzare Foods. Its so funny because the guy in the show has to say how awful the food is in it, we loved it! It was cheap and tasty. They also had some drink we were calling milk juice that was almost like strawberry quik.

Another year...
Its strange to know that this is my last birthday in Madagascar. Having just moved out of my old site and moving into my new house feels very surreal. Spending my day relaxing and eating good food.

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