We checked into the hotel in Fianarantsoa this afternoon, then proceeded straight to the patisserie. I got quiche, tamarind juice, and profiteroles. The place had a whole menu of ice cream treats, which we read, translated (all menus are in French here), discussed, and considered at length which one to order. Then the waitress informed us that they were out of everything except profiteroles. It wasn't too much of a hardship though. Have you had profiteroles? They are ice cream on pastry, with whipped cream on top. I am pleased to report it is as good as it sounds.
It is getting much warmer here in Madagascar, the days are longer and there is starting to be fruit. I thought of it being tropical here, but we are about 21 degrees south and it is actually quite seasonal. I got a coeur de boeuf, a sort of green fruit about the size of a grapefruit that looks like a cow's heart, or it would if a cow's heart looked like the lumpy green and black thing on the left of the photo. The brighter green things are mangoes. There are also pineapples and green spiky things I have never seen before. The seasons are later in Kianjavato but we should have fruit there soon. There have only been bananas since about June. We are starting to see cucumbers again, and the carrots are new fresh ones, and there are some weird dry little things like a cross between raisins and shrivelled crabapples.
MBP, the organization I am volunteering with, has a chance to get funding if people vote for our project. They talk about the black and white ruffed lemurs and the reforestation efforts, but my bamboo lemurs live in the same forest. Being here I can really see that the project makes a difference. People can see that the lemurs are worth more alive, bringing in researchers and tourists and providing jobs, so they do not eat them anymore. You can vote here if you like.
Last weekend there was a concert in Kianjavato, a guy named Tsiliva. Everyone I know was there and there was a lot of dancing. At one point two masked men, dressed as Michael Jackson and, we think, Osama bin Laden, pretended to attack the singer and he fought them off with a really funny display of karate. I guess this is just one of the things they do here. I am getting used to the idea that I won't understand a large part of the world around me.
I keep trying to photograph the baby lemurs but it is difficult because they are very small, the same colour as the mother, and usually silhouetted against the sky. They get bigger almost by the day though. I think they should attain maximum cuteness in the next month or so, as they will become more independently mobile but still quite tiny and babyish. The one on the left is an adult just finishing a big jump and catching hold of a branch.