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Intro blog by MBP Volunteer, Max




It’s kind of crazy to think that, in exactly one week, I’ll be boarding my plane and settling in for my 15 hour flight to Johannesburg (and I thought that a 13 hour flight to Japan was rough). I’ve never flown to another country on my own before, so finding my way to the connecting flight to Antananarivo should be an experience; airports have always been so large and intimidating to me. Either way, I’m confident that I can conquer Johannesburg’s airport…2 hours is plenty of time right?!

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, but it has been nothing but rainy here in Connecticut that I  just can’t wait to get to somewhere that’s actually warm! It’s well into spring here, and the past week has just been filled with gloomy and chilly days.  I’m almost surprised it hasn’t snowed at all. Anyway, I hope the weather in Madagascar will be a bit more inviting and warm. Not to mention the fact that in just a couple of weeks, I’ll be running through the forest tracking lemurs–black and white ruffed lemurs to be exact (In Japanese their name is kitsunezaru, which literally means  “fox monkey”. Just one look at their deep-orange eyes and slender snouts confirms the name). I literally can’t think of anything else I’d rather do for my first co-op–a program at Northeastern that allows students to take a  semester off classes and work in their field of choice! SInce I was a kid, I’d watch shows on animal planet where zoologists and researchers would study all  kinds of amazing animals all over the world. Whether they were chasing ostriches in the Serengeti, swimming with pink river dolphins in the Amazon, or cautiously admiring a feeding komodo dragon in Indonesia, I was always mesmerized and determined to grow up and do what they were doing. It’s still kind of surreal that I’m finally getting the opportunity to live my dream–and I haven’t even  graduated college yet! I’m so grateful to the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership for offering me such an exciting opportunity and can’t wait to see what the next 6 months has in store for me. But now, I’m off to continue the scramble of packing and trying to stuff a tent and air mattress into one suitcase.

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