Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Awake, Alive, Abroad!

Hi Everyone,

So, in less than two weeks I will be in Africa! Madagascar, specifically, and to be even more specific, on the eastern coast, in a rainforest, for a month. Freaking out, in the best way possible.

While I'm there, my academic endeavors will be two-fold: First, each of us has chosen a lemur that free ranges around the reserve where we will be staying. So, to keep things short, I believe I'll be following a lemur through the jungle for four weeks. This is my lemur:

Precious, right? The species is the black and white ruffed lemur, one of the largest in Madagascar. Luckily, they're awake during the day and are easy to hear from a distance. I believe I'll name them all Francis, as figuring out individuals will be difficult. But anyways...

The second section will focus on alternative farming techniques that preserve what remains of Madagascar's forest. The forest is cut and burned to make may for agriculture. People have to eat, so what can you do? The goal is to both feed the people and save the forest, something that, if planned correctly, can be done.

The environmental degradation in Madagascar is extreme, so I don't doubt this trip will be rough. But, it's once-in-a-lifetime (unless you plan to hang out in jungles your whole life, oh wait! That's me!).

I won't have internet, or electricity or running water, so you won't hear from me until I get back. A solid comp book will serve as a journal so there will be plenty of updates upon my return. I'm headed down to the Duke Lemur Center tomorrow, so there may be one more post detailing that trip before my departure.

Be Well.

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