A Joyful Adventurous Life Together

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Antananarivo, Madagascar
VAZAHA = foreigner VAO VAO = news

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"Le responsable..."

The silence in our posting, dear friends, has been due to "les responsables." All of my energy has been dedicating to discovering who "les responsables" might be, other than a concept. I talked to many a "le responsable" who passed me on to another "le responsable" until we quite literally held the "non responsable" hostage in our house. Then, miraculously, the internet was turned on. Yes, dear friends, one month to the day after delivering 2 hand-drawn maps in duplicate, copies of our passports and residence certificates, and signing a 10-page contract in French that probably promised our first born to the imperial powers, we have internet at home. I think I should leave this story here - I had thought about writing an entire, long post about the joys of dealing with a combined Telma (the landline monopoly) and Moov (the cable internet monopoly), but I already feel my blood pressure rising and it is early in the morning, so I think I might just move on...

In the meantime, though, we have been making great progress organizing and analyzing 6 years of octopus data. The biologists from Andavadoaka have been living with us and we have been pushing them pretty hard to get something done (ah, ha, there is a hostage theme here I now realize!). We have all been learning an amazing amount from Tom - he is a great teacher of databases and the statistical/analytical software "R". There just might be a couple of great papers at the end of this tunnel. It will take another 6 months to see them as the lead author is going back to her beach life in Andavadoaka on Monday...sigh...

Tom is busy preparing for his big expedition - leaving in 3 weeks to go live aboard a 28 meter sailboat. That deserves its own post. Besides, I am green with envy. However, last night a friend of mine invited me to join an expedition to Masoala Peninsula. I leave TOMORROW! I'm dropping my research for a week to go to the park. As Tom said, "this is why we are here" -- I still feel a little odd, but I will put my research assistants onto tasks that don't require my presence. And I'll think of this as a scouting trip - after all, I am considering Masoala as one of my possible field sites so it is totally justified. So radio silence from me until I'm back in a week...

- Kirsten


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