Milomàno aminy àla
· 28 November 2006 ·

Hark! What hyonder ho? Gather round one and all for the notorious Rich has emerged from the deep jungles of the Masoala penninsula. And let me tell you they don’t call rainforests rain-forests for no good reason at all. They are forests all right, nice lucious ones full of creepy crawlies, but just as important it RAINS like there is no tomorrow. If I weren’t from the Pacific Northwest I might not have known what to do with myself. However, being keen to precipitation I saw it as an opportunity for me to shine in my element. Wretched heat on the other hand, coupled with ferocious humidity levels, in late november, is not something my body is used to. Needless to say I was slightly crazed and confused during the better part of this adventure. I trapsed through much bile and stagnant foul water which could harbor schistosomiosis, although I escaped that unfriendly infectious disease, or atleast so far I think I have. Might I add that malaria is not something that I wish to be bestowed upon anyone.

Among my discoveries in Masoala are Boa Constrictors, Crocodiles, and these insects that are very reminiscent of pill bugs except they are green not grey and when they curl up into a ball they are not the size of a pea but slightly smaller than a tennis ball. I have also found that the Lychee is my new favorite fruit and there exists a beverage in this world called “Betsa”. Now Betsa is a fermented beverage made from sugarcane and it wields a gravity similar to wine. It’s taste is one that is sweet yet sour and leaves your tongue oscilating between your smacking lips due to the atrocious twang.

Now you are all probably wondering what in the hell I was doing wandering around a secluded tropical region of Madagascar all by my lonesome for 3 weeks. After all I am technically going to school right? Well the answer is I had been conducting my independent study project, which is the final project for this program and I was given the opportunity to study whatever and wherever I should so choose. Amidst these exploits of personal indulgence and self discovery I have managed to compile a rather lengthy and comprehensive document concerning the medicinal plants of this region and their future in regards to deforestation and preservation. But it is in french so the most of you may have difficulties trying to read it.

Christ all mighty, my final project is over?! That means I will be home soon. Wierd. So I recently read John Stienbeck’s Travells with Charley and I think he was on to something when he said “People don’t take trips. Trips take people.”

Peace my friends

Written by Rich Halvorsen