As I predicted, blogging on my tour of Madagascar is going to be challenging. Uploading pictures requires great patience. At the moment it may take over ten minutes to load even one and that's when I'm not knocked offline. The benefit is that it means I can not fool around. I need to report succinctly and with clear purpose.
First of all, I feel great and am totally thrilled with the experience so far. I have seen amazing countryside in my day and half here and have met worthwhile people. Tonight I will have my first look at animals. I have left the capital and am staying in rustic lodging at a nature preserve in the interior of the country. I am going on a night walk with a private guide to spot nocturnal lemurs and glow-in-the-dark chameleons.
This country is vastly different in character and landscape than I experienced in Tanzania. The inhabitants don't consider themselves even Africans. The island has many people who have come from the continent, but many more who trace their origin to Indonesia. This Asian element, with years of mixing, including with the French, is obvious. Unique facial expression, shape of heads, skin color, language and food preference makes the culture as special as the animals that live here.
I know I have not shared any landscape pictures today and that many of you may be curious of what it looks like here. I promise I will share a few snapshots in the following report. It is simply the fact that I can barely condense the diversity of geographical features and I felt a greater urgency to show people. The above pictures are a fraction of faces I have snapped. I even got to draw one of the young ladies in pink, who were part of a choir on their way to a performance. I must thank my stars now and sign off before I lose all my work to the caprice of the signal. Best to you all from out here somewhere.