Hopefully pictures are worth a thousand words, because I used most of my internet time uploading pics and this will have to be brief!
My exciting news of the previous few weeks is that I was able to join some Malagasy researchers on some camping trips in the forest complex--the hikes were rainy and difficult (and I lost count of the number of leeches I pulled off), but great to see how they were doing collections and tree counts to identify endangered species. And yes, did see some lemurs (crowned lemurs) but no pictures because they were skittish little guys. I was thinking while I was at camp that the whole experience should feel much more surreal and exotic than it did, but at the time, catching crab in a jungle stream by flashlight with Malagasy reseachers seemed pretty normal.
I've been cooking a lot the last week or so--food variety is a bit limited in my area, so I've been compensating by planning way ahead for meals so I can buy veggies and such in town. It's pleasant to cook in the evenings while listening to my shortwave (last night, Chinese opera and Radio France; the night before, a sithar concert from India and Radio Iran).
Have I told you about ranampango yet? Malagasies cook a lot of rice, and after they've served themselves and have some burned rice left over in the pot, they'll boil water in the pot and serve it with dinner--a sort of tea that tastes like, well, burned rice. Always safe to drink though, and free, so I've acquired a taste for it.