The first month at KAFS (Kianjavato Ahmanson Field Station) has flown by. We seem to have just missed the worst of the rain and the days for now are mainly dry and hot. I am one of only six volunteers here at the minute, but the site is always buzzing with activity and people who already know your name before you have had the chance to say “Salama”!
Weekdays start at 5:30am with the now predictably amazing view of the sunrise from our tent site. Rice is the staple for breakfast, lunch and dinner and there is always the homemade local hot sauce ‘sakày’ to add, although you can never be too sure how hot each new batch will be. After a day in the forest a bucket shower drawn from the well is surprisingly good and a trip to the shop at the bottom of the hill is becoming a regular treat. You can get a glass of cold homemade juice; guava, passion fruit, tamarind, coconut or avocado! As well as home baked muffins, flan and pizza.
The fragmentation of the forest is not only evident when out in the field but in the landscape surrounding camp and the rice paddies are squeezed into every available space. Although the project is only in its 5th year you can already see the positive impact it is having on the landscape and community and you don’t have to go far to get a glimpse of Madagascar’s unique wildlife. We spend most evenings out searching with torches finding tenrecs rummaging through the compost bin or frogs, snakes, geckos and chameleons hiding in the trees and undergrowth.