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Hello to everyone back home! We have just finished our second full week in Madagascar. This week I think we all really have settled in. The homesick feeling isn’t there anymore and everyone is starting be more comfortable with one another. We started our Padi open water course this week and every single one of us are doing a fantastic job. Kyle, our dive instructor, has told us on many occasions that we are one of the first and only groups that haven’t had any problems with learning the skills and being able to complete them. So, I think we are all giving ourselves a nice pat on the back.

Diving is challenging, as there are so many things you have to think about and make sure you are doing it correctly. Thankfully Kyle is a wonderful instructor and is making it as easy as possible for us all to understand. Next week is when we start going over the reef and putting all the skills we’ve learned to work. The goal is to have us all done with our open water and advanced training within the next week or so, as that way we can start helping out with all the surveys. I’m positive that we will pass all our courses with no problems within that time period. On Sunday, a group of us went into Ampang, a village not far from Turtle Cove. We went to the lemur park and it did not disappoint. The lemurs are extremely curious and they love food, so we brought a bunch of bananas. If you hold the banana out, they will climb right onto your shoulders and eat it out of your hand. They are strong little suckers, so you have to make sure you have a good grip on the banana! Thankfully, during the week we do get some downtime where we can just sit around, relax, and mingle with the other volunteers. The days are long and I find myself going to bed around 8pm some nights, but it feels like it’s 2am. We wake up early and are busy all day, so it’s a very easy pattern to get into. I’m amazed by the amount of chickens that walk around at our camp and one of them has decided to make her nest under my bed. She comes in around the same time every day and lays an egg, which is hilarious because it takes about five volunteers to get her out. All in all, it’s been another amazing week here in Madagascar and I’m confident to say that it will only keep getting better each week.

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