Thursday, November 19, 2009

Last Week in Ranomafana

Sorry it's been so long since I last updated, I've been so busy saying goodbye to Ranomafana and also I didn't have enough money to go on the internet and buy all the souvenirs I want. But now I'm in the capitol city, Tana, where we have free internet at the Hotel St. Laurent.

Since last time, my friends Hamutahl, Kara, Collette, and I took one last enjoyable hike in the Ranomafana forest. Our friend and guide, Dina, showed us the Belle Vue where we can see the whole park, we saw Red-Bellied Lemurs and the Greater Bamboo Lemur and we had a picnic that consisted of Madagascar Chocolate (very delicious) and Gouty (yummy biscuit cookies) at the 'Wedding' waterfall. It was gorgeous and relaxing, but it was sad knowing that it would be our last time in the forest. We have been very lucky with the weather; it was around 80 degrees for our last week and hardly rained. We all spent most of the week working on or project presentations, but I also went to the library almost everyday to teach and hangout with the kids. It was sad when we had to say goodbye, we went to their school and did one last round of the 'hokey pokey' and 'boom-chicka-boom'.

Saturday was the big day to present what we learned from our independent projects. Everyone got dressed up and lots of people came, like the Mayor of Ranomafana and representatives from Madagascar National Parks. We were all a little nervous, but everyone did a really great job. It turned out very professional. 8 students our of the group were chosen to present again in Tana, which is a great experience.
That night we had a huge good-bye party outside of the research center. It was a beautiful night and there was so much delicous food prepared for us and we danced all night. It was a great way to end the semester. For the rest of the weekend my friends and I enjoyed the beautiful weather by hanging out in town, going to the Masomanga garden to collect bushes of leeches and having a pineapple cake picnic.

Our last day in Ranomafana consisted of packing, sharing pictures with everyone and lounging on the rocks in the river before ValBio. I don't know why i never did this before, but it was one of my most enjoyable days. Hearing the sound of the water fall while laying out in the sun or climbing up rocks was so much fun, especially when you don't have to worry about any type of homework or studying that needs to be done. I'm going to put up a bunch of random pictures that sums up my last week in Ranomafana, I hope you all enjoy!!