Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Studying and Snowfall

What does one do when studying just won't happen? Hmmm...
1. Scroll though Facebook - so much happiness and love and freedom - yuck
2. Watch TV - daytime TV is terrible; so much talking, no drama
3. Look at Facebook again because there must be something else on there besides happiness - nope
4. Talk to people - nope, everyone you know is at work, or studying
5. Eat! Oh the problems with this option
6. Practice Spanish on Duolingo
7. Write a blog post - but when that is done...
8. I guess the only option really is to study. Harumph!

Law school exams have descended upon us. Two down, three to go. I will say it hasn't been as excruciating as I was expecting! Such good news. I have only had two real moments of worry but I have been fortunate enough to kind of keep it together with the help of some lovely people. I also have a really wonderful mom that sent me flowers to keep me company while I study. I said I should bring them with me to write my exams; I think it would make lots of people smile.

Other exciting developments? It's winter. That means snow and below freezing temperatures. I know it is still early but I don't hate it. Maybe because I haven't had to live with it for the past few years. 

That's it kids! I know my life is no longer fabulously exciting. I can't be making waves all the time. I am just trying to stay in my lane for now. I have to keep reminding myself that this is part of God's plan and even though I don't get it now, it is serving a purpose.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Show You Care

It is so easy to convince myself that people don't care. I always lose sight of the moments that people reach out and show that they do care, even when I don't see it. In order, to remind myself of those times it makes sense to write them down. I have a great memory for certain details and then I can't remember a thing when it comes to bigger events. After I posted my last blog, a friend I had in my undergrad sent me a really encouraging message and also said that she really liked reading my blog. Wow! That was amazing to hear. It reminded me that even if I am not fully aware of it, people are there and they do care (unintentional rhyming bonus).
Life is confusing sometimes. It is full of moments that don't seem to make sense. I don't understand it at all and I don't think I ever will. I have to keep reminding myself that this is a part of the whole journey.
The strangest thing happened today. On my way home from school a woman approached me and asked me if I could spare a toonie or if I was going to Subway then she would like a sandwich. I said I didn't have a toonie and I wasn't going to Subway. Both of those things were true but I realized just because I hadn't planned to go to Subway didn't mean I couldn't go for her. So we went and she was very excited. She talked my ear off and told me all about how I should consider being an advocate for people with pets. While waiting in line I started to get frustrated. I was no longer giving with the right heart. After I paid I pretty much ran out of there. Then I was mad at myself for giving with bad intentions. I know it sounds stupid but that was my day. Well there was also the library and class but that is no fun to talk about.
One of my classmates invited a bunch of us over for dinner last night. It was so nice of them and his girlfriend sent us home with loot bags! How amazing is that?

Random information: "My Favourite Things" is the song that has been in my head for that last few weeks. From the Sound of Music? Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens... Ha ha. It is in your head now.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Ahead? Behind? It's All Relative

It seems that I have gained some new readers. For those of you who have just joined the story, welcome! I am sharing my life to stay connected; it isn't anything monumental. I realize that I have been exceptional down in the dumps lately and my posts have reflected that. What can I talk about that is more interesting and less lame? Want to learn about law? Hmmm. How 'bout them Blue Jays? OH! I just thought of something. The world is so small. I ran into a guy I went to high school with, whose girlfriend lives in the same building as me in Ottawa. It gets better... he knows another person in my small group class (20 students). I was completely flabbergasted.

I have been putting this off until I was in a better mood because if I write down my bad feelings other people might read them and feel bad too; I don't want that. These past few weeks have been going better. I really think that I was so upset because I didn't know anything about the law. I struggle to be the new kid and to have no knowledge that makes me stand out from the crowd. I sit in a room full of exceptional people everyday and so I started to doubt that was good enough. There are so many people who are getting the concepts and asking amazing questions. I couldn't even learn from there questions because some of them went so far over my head. Anyway, I realized I can do it but I have to be okay with not being the best. I was talking to a prof after a session on strategic course selection yesterday and I started to cry. I was crying because the faculty keeps parading all of these successful graduates and upper year students in front of us and it scares me. Not everyone ends up where these people are; what happens to the rest of them? I not giving myself permission to fall to the bottom of the barrel but if I end up there I don't want to feel like I am doomed. At the end of the day I have to remind myself that I am so privileged. I have been given so much, and I can waste it, or use it to do good. It is overwhelming most of the time. I am always analyze everything that is going on; weighing pros and cons and thinking really far into the future.

Completely changing gears... Some of my mom's relatives live near Ottawa and they invited me over for dinner last weekend. I asked if I could bring anything. I was told I could bring dessert. Finally! A chance to do some baking. I had been avoiding it since I live alone and would inevitably just eat everything I made. I decided to make checkerboard cake. It seems impressive but it is no more difficult than a regular cake.

Earlier this week generator testing lead to a blown fuse in the building where I live. Consequently the elevators were out of service. The lobby was full (I use this as a relative term) of people. Usual you see one person (maybe). When I walked in on Monday evening there were at least 10 people, maybe 15, just standing (and staring at their phones). I decided I wasn't going to wait, and ventured up the stairs. I live on the 20th floor and I had my backpack on so I knew it wasn't going to be an easy task. I did manage to make it up but was in desperate need of a shower once I got there. Another good thing is that I now know I can escape in the event of an emergency. The stairs in the building where my parents lived led nowhere; it was a deathtrap.
What do I think about the election? It is over. It happened. Maybe, if we let Him, He will use him to do something great. See what I did there? Capitalize the h and it totally changes the focus. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016


Edward challenged me to make this a peaceful month; in relationships and in life. I can't say that I am doing very well. I have had to ask for forgiveness more times than I have managed to remain at peace. In school relationships, in family relationships, in self relationship (is that a thing?) I constantly make a mess. Everyday brings challenge and frustration but it seems that I am starting to figure out how to manage. I finally got off my butt and got exercising again; what a difference. I have had so much joy and energy these past few days (except today when I couldn't keep my eyes open in class; my falling head woke me up). Sometimes I jump to conclusions and assume the world is coming after me, but I have people to talk me down from the ledge.The problem is that I need to learn how to talk myself down, or even better not get up there in the first place. It isn't all bad...

A few weeks ago I got invited to go with a few of my classmates to got for a little trip to Quebec. We went for a very nice walk among the trees on the Mackenzie King estate. It was gorgeous and such a nice change of scenery. We even stumbled upon a wedding! It was small and beautiful; probably about 15 people. I am not a paparazzo so I didn't take any photos of the wedding, but the trees were great models.

I am surrounded by amazingly kind people and still I struggle. I sit in class confused and then I leave and I give up. Am I ever going to get this? Maybe one day, but it is taking way longer to sink in than I had hoped and I feel like I am running out of time. Exams are just around the corner and I don't know if I am prepared to deal with the less than stellar grades that might be coming my way. I feel like I am settling in, but part of me is resisting. For some reason I don't want to let it happen and I am making myself uncomfortable because of it. I don't want to be at the bottom of the barrel. Not knowing anything is not something I enjoy but I don't feel like learning enough to get me out of that mind set. It is just a big cycle of negativity. I see life coming together for so many people but I am still so far away from putting the pieces together in my own life; I feel so far behind. There is still so much struggle ahead of me and I don't want to do it, I don't know if I can. All I can see right now is what I don't have and what everyone else does. I know that is awful and the green monster of jealously has no place in my life but we are such good pals! It might be a symbiotic relationship (we can't live without each other) or maybe it is better characterized as a parasitic relationship. As an aside: I used to like science until someone decided I wasn't good enough at it and if I wasn't getting an A then I needed to find something else. I also had to look up the other relationships: commensalism (spell check wants to make this commercialism; that works as a relationship type as well) and mutualism.

Now for a complete change in topic. I got to go home for Thanksgiving. It is nice to be so close to home (close by my standard). It gets lonely here sometimes and it is easy to miss the company that is readily available on the ship. We had our big meal on Saturday which was great! Having Sunday and Monday free was refreshing. I flew back Monday morning so I had the latter half of the day to ready myself for the short week.  I'm not sure that the short week is a good thing considering all that I need to accomplish.

Don't let me get you down. Please believe in yourself; don't give up.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

These Days

So I forgot a few things in my last post but I want to mention them.

My mom and my sister have become knitting machines and I got recruited to participate. So, in the few days before I left for school, I made this snazzy washcloth.

My mom had to help me fix my mistakes so many times that there is no way I would be able to accomplish anything without her. Needless to say I have gone into knitting retirement for now. Maybe I will take it up again when I am home next and I have my mom to help me.

One of my best friends in the whole world had a baby! I am so proud of her and I know she is going to be a fabulous mother and that her baby will be so loved. I look up to her a lot because she is so accomplished and works through every challenge that she is given. I hope I will be able to do the same.

My wonderful cousin became a teenager. She is so kind and although her mom says she acts like a teenager sometimes, I've never seen it so I can't believe it. 

School started. The first few days were a huge mix of feelings. I was happy to make some new connections on the first few days and find a familiar face in the crowd. I was not as happy to feel like I wasn't in the right place and that I had made a huge mistake. So many people have emphasized that the first little while will be difficult but it does get better.

After a few weeks I am still trying trying to figure out how to study, live, and just be. I didn't realize that I would struggle in school so much. I have really lacked the motivation to put in the effort required to be excellent. I kind of gave up after only a few days because I saw that I wasn't the best and I was so tired and lonely that I didn't care enough to make an effort. Thankful I got over that last week and figured out that I do my best work at the public library just a block away from where I live. The library is home to some very interesting individuals that I have never encountered at a library in Toronto but I suppose everyone needs somewhere to nap, and not everyone knows that a quiet area means you shouldn't talk on the phone.

Last night I went on a boat cruise with a big group of other students from the law school. I am still attempting to make friends and find where I fit. It was funny being on a boat. It was so different than the ship. All the drinking and club like atmosphere was enough to make me realize that I wasn't on the Africa Mercy. It was also way colder outside than the tropical nights of the sails I have experienced in the past.

Here we are, another week, another chance to do better and be better.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Making a Place

I've thought about writing many times since I have been home. I've also thought about how somethings are just better left unsaid, and how it was nice to be able to "hide" for a while. There is this strange issue that I struggle with when it comes to social media: where is the line between sharing and bragging? I don't know. I suppose it is your personal intention. However, that intention can be perceived differently by each person and sometimes you can trick yourself into thinking that you are doing something for the right reasons, even if you are not. Here I am, wanting to share in order to stay connected, to let it out, and to give thanks.

The first few weeks of being home were a very strange experience where I didn't feel like I fit. I didn't want to be back on the ship but I wasn't particularly comfortable at home. Then things got busy, I found things to do, and it started to feel better. I went water skiing at the lake and I got to spend so really good quality time with most my immediate family members.

Making gnocchi with Nonna
I was able to take some time and prepare items to bring to Ottawa. My mom and I found these end tables and I was really hoping to strip the stain and stain them a bit lighter but I had to change my plan when the stripping agent ruined the already exposed wood. I know many people will hate me for painting the tables but that was all I was capable of doing at that point.

My mom and I were able to make a couple of trips to Ottawa to bring furniture and "stuff" to start setting things up. Thanks to my mom I didn't have to worry about finding an apartment last minute. I am really happy that we were able to move ahead of time because that took away a lot of potential stress when it came to school starting. I have spoken to so many people who moved into their places days before school started and who had only seen them online. I don't I would have handled that very well. They are way braver than I am. I also got to visit with my mom's family that lives just outside of Ottawa and came to know that they are incredibly kind people and I am so happy to have them nearby.

I had a visitor from the ship! My very wonderful and fabulous boyfriend made the long journey to come visit. Let me just say that getting a visitor visa is not easy. It really brought to light how special we are as Canadians (among others) to be able to freely enter so many countries, without having to apply for anything ahead of time. Before we did anything exciting it was time to complete the triathlon I had been training for since... forever. I had a great time and although it was difficult I was happy with how I did.  I did fall off my bike at the turn around. Whoops! I turned too wide and hit some sand and since road bike wheels have so little traction, I lost it. I was fine. What's a triathlon without a little blood?

Since it was Edward's first time to Canada I got to participate in lots of touristy activities. We went to Niagara Falls (I had never been) with my aunt, uncle, and cousins.

We went to a Jays game and an Argos game. Who are the Argos? They are Toronto's team in the Canadian Football League. We had incredible seats for both games but they were totally different. (far away for the Jays, super close for the Argos). If you go to a Jays game don't be afraid to sit in the 500s; the view is great!

Canada's Wonderland (theme park) was on the list of destinations. Edward went on his very first roller coaster (Leviathan) and loved it.

We made pizza with Nonna. 

We tried to go to Ottawa but we found this roadblock...

We were first on the scene and thought we might be able to move it enough to get by but that was dreadfully unsuccessful. Thankfully a woman who lived just up the road pulled up behind us. She called her husband and he brought a chainsaw. It was cleared in no time and off we went.
Light show at Parliament

Then it was time to celebrate Edward's birthday. What exciting things did we do? We went bowling with my aunt, uncle, and cousins and then Edward and I went to the movie theatre to watch Summerslam. Huh? Yup. Wrestling. He loved it and when I watched is as entertainment rather than reality I have to admit I had a good time as well. The next day he got two more cakes. So a total a three birthday cakes, not bad (I only got two).

Then it was time to say goodbye so Edward could get back to the ship. 

Then I had to start saying some more goodbyes. First goodbye; the lake.

And then it was time to say goodbye to "home". But not before I got to celebrate my birthday with my family getting tomatoes into jars.

And those are my last few months in a nutshell.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Somebody Loves You

I wanted to post ages ago but the internet on the ship was not letting me write or post so now that I am home I can fill you in on the past few weeks.

Our departure from Madagascar was heart wrenching for many people. The tugboats gave us a special goodbye.

The sail kicked me in the but. On the calmest, most beautiful day of the sail I was crying because I felt so sick. I have no idea what was going on but after the crew nurse gave me some drugs I felt much better and then when the sea got rough again I was fine. It doesn't make any sense. I also received the most thoughtful gift:

To you it looks like a can of ginger ale. To me it was a the sign of a sacrifice and the result of a search. You see, there hasn't been any ginger ale on board for ages and so I have no idea where this was obtained. I know that someone loves me very much. Please know that someone loves you too; see the love in the little things. 

Saying goodbye to people on the ship didn't cause any dramatic displays of emotion. However, I think it hasn't hit me yet. I will miss that community and how it changed my life. I am thankful I won't have to make such a long airplane trip for the foreseeable future. 20 hours of airplane travel is too much for someone of my advanced age.  I was in awe thinking about how a giant structure was flying at 600km/h in the sky. As amazing as it is I have resolved not to fly so far unless I can do it in first class; even then I would have to consider it for a long time.

When I got home I was greeted by lots of hugs and delicious homemade pizza. As comfortable as my bed was I still woke up at 4am. That's okay. At least the sun rises pretty early so I didn't have to be in the dark for long.

That is all for now. I am wondering whether to keep writing this blog. Maybe I am writing for my AFM family now instead. I'd be thrilled to hear what you think.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Packing Up

It is time. This view makes it abundantly clear that the ship will soon leave the port of Toamasina, Madagascar and not return in the near future.

Cars loaded on deck 8 of the ship, strapped to the deck and ready to bear the waves and wind that may await the vessel on the short journey to South Africa. I cannot tell you exactly when we will leave because that will compromise the security of the ship.

I am still experiencing a heart of stone; one with no emotion toward anyone leaving. However, I have started to think about what I will miss by not being on board anymore. I have to remind myself that although there are wonderful things about being here it is just not my place anymore.

I watched all three of my roommates pack up and either change cabins or leave the ship this past week. It made me realize that I have way too much stuff to bring it all home with me. The difficult part is going to be figuring out what is worth bringing home and what I can rationally convince myself to leave behind. The problem is I have a hard time leaving things that are useful but not necessarily important, such as shampoo, conditioner, greeting cards, and glass food storage containers. I guess I will just have to start packing and then figure out what fits and what doesn't.

As the ship and its residents prepares for its imminent departure from this extraordinary country, I can only remember. Remember the friendly people, the amazing market, the sunny days and torrential downpours. Memories are a beautiful gift; you can take them wherever you go and you don't have to pay for extra baggage.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Moving On

There goes May. Hello June!

I am not going to say I am worrying about school but I will say that I am starting to develop some... thoughts about making new friends, managing work load, and being able to find a job at the end of this whole process. First of all, friends. It became very clear to me recently that although I may know many people on the ship I have a friendship with very few of them. That is true of my life in general. I am going to a place where I now have to make new friends and that causes unreasonable amounts of stress for me. Yes, I will be studying a great deal but I don't want to spend the next 4 years alone with my books. So deep breathes on that subject.

The ship is getting quieter. There are some benefits to this situation: the ship is literally quieter, the laundry slot availability has increased, and there are less people in the lunch line. There are also some disadvantages: lots of emotions... that is all I can think of. Yes, my heart is a stone. Honestly, I feel like I have been blessed with this lack of emotions right now because I could just as easily be a wreck. I have seen so many tears around me as people wave goodbye, and people feeling undervalued because their cabins are getting used for someone else the moment after they leave but that is life on the ship. There were three high school graduates on the ship this year. The whole community was invited to watch their graduation ceremony on Thursday. They all presented a speech to the crowd and were all incredibly well spoken. What an experience. I got a housing request for a family with a teenager the other day and my first reaction was that if that were me I would have been so mad. To have my parents rip me out of my life and take me to a unknown and start all over. Then I got to thinking that although it might be a difficult transition it might be the best thing that ever happened; one of the graduates shared that her experience was like that. The families here are incredible. Although I nearly got knocked over by a child while holding a cake that took me ages to make and decorate, I still think the families are great. I have seen two kids go from babies to walking toddlers and there is an inexplicable feeling of affection toward them. This makes me even more excited to see my own family and my niece that should be running around soon enough. I mean look at this kid:

Those pants are so cute. The frying pan on the stool in the background is a mystery to me. My sister was sick which means that my mom was in charge so anything can happen when grandma is running the show.

I have been carb loading like a champion. For what, you may ask. Nothing. No reason but tortillas, bread, pasta, rice, you name it, are all life staples. Terrible, I know. I keep saying I am going to stay away from it but then I hear it calling me, like a Siren, just waiting for me to crash on the shore. Rude. This is the opposite of half of my family who is doing a carb elimination diet. Maybe I am trying to compensate for them; joke's on me.

Still training for the race. The bike rides are giving me a sore where my tail bone hits. Any advice? I am actually excited for my "long" run tomorrow. I say "long" because it isn't all that long, but it is my longest of the week; 32 minutes.

Laundry is done, cabin is clean, and blog is written. Saturday is a wrap.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

An Ode to the Weekend - a.k.a. baking and eating

My 100th post!

My Saturday can be summarized with just a few words:

Peanut Sauce
Vanilla cake
Chocolate cake
Sore feet
Stomach full of tortillas and peanut sauce
the Mentalist
Clean, warm bed

Sunday too:

Chocolate chip cookies
Cake decorating
Lunch - peanut sauce
Still running
Mild hyperventilation
Still running

The future holds the following:

Sunday, 15 May 2016


This was a struggle.

Always changing. That is what life is and what it is supposed to do. If we all stayed the same then there would be no progress, no learning. Despite the truth in that, it is still a challenge to manage the never ending change. Sometimes is it welcome and worth celebration like babies, graduations, and new opportunities. Conversely there are those moments that are no fun like saying goodbye, trying to make new friends, unending life competition, and the list goes on.
I am thankful that I have not been burdened with worry about the unknown future. I can say God has really helped me with that; more trust in God makes less need to worry about things I cannot control. I am thankful that I have come to terms with the fact that I cannot control everything, nor do I really want to anymore; that would be a job I am not qualified to do. I want to be more understanding and compassionate but sometimes that selfish creatures creeps up inside of me and I become a person I am not proud to be. I hope those moments will become less and less as time wears on. I hope that I will be more full of love than of fear. I hope the spirit of forgiveness will overshadow any jealously and resentment. I hope for change.

I am picture less today. I won't apologize for that as there is nothing wrong with not having a picture to share. I am getting way to emotional about this; time for bed!

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Home Depot and Heart Change

Have you ever wondered where Malagasy people buy wood to build houses, fences, and who knows what else? This is Home Depot in Madagascar:
It smelled beautiful amongst all the fish and meat. I can't say why, but it always makes me smile when I pass this area of the market. It is just so simple and clear where it all came from and that so many people worked very hard to collect and prepare it.

Anyway, we had a three day weekend, the last one of the field service. It was quite rainy; perfect for laziness. Today the sun has come out which works in my favour because Sunday is run day in the training schedule. I usually strongly dislike the rain because I don't like to get my feet and clothes, and everything else wet but on Saturday I really wanted to go outside and I need to be alone so I put on my raincoat (this might have been the second time ever since I have been away) and went for a walk. The weather was cool so I wasn't sweating like crazy inside my jacket and so it was a very pleasant outing. I also made made pizza dough (I even sprung for the 00 flour) and while I was in the crew galley another person came in and asked if she could play some music. First of all I am thrilled that she was so courteous and asked, as sometimes people are playing music and singing along and all I can think is that they are being inconsiderate of the other people in the room. I recognize that everyone needs their time and space and that looks different for each person, so I would never tell someone to turn off their music but it does irk me sometimes. Anyway, she is from Durban and she was listening to a band from there called Gangs of Ballet. I think my musical tastes have changed significantly in the past year or so. I can't say that my hip hop days are over but they are fewer, and being replaced by softer melodies with less explicit lyrics. I know it seems strange but for a long time I thought that my musical tastes were a barrier to my relationship with God. As I have moved away from the profanities and lyrics that in no way enhance the positive influence in my life I have seen a change of heart, a space has been created and the barrier broken down. I don't know that I will ever fully give up a good, deep beat but things have changed and I am excited.

In other news, my wonderful parents secured me somewhere to live next year! My mom is so good to me, going all the way to Ottawa to look at places for me. It was a strange emotional sequence: excitement, guilt, sadness, thankfulness. The guilt and sadness is because it is so opulent and I could have insisted that we get something smaller and older and saved money. However, it was so pretty and the windows captivated me. I have to remind myself to be grateful and appreciate that my parents have worked very hard to be able to give my somewhere amazing to live! You can be sure that visitors will be welcomed with open arms. 

The rest of the day involves running, pizza making, talking to my mother and grandmother, and helping to host a large group of guests this afternoon/evening.

Happy Mothers Day!

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Amazing Race

What did you do today?

Well, I watched people retrieve coins from the bottom of a pool and chug bottles of tonic water. Confused? Today was the Mercy Ships version of the amazing race. 12 teams of three completed tasks all around Tamatave. My station was to collect 50 coins from the bottom of the pool and then go buy an ice cream cone for each person on the team and eat it in a minute. Unfortunately the ice cream place did not open until 10 and were getting started at 8; so we modified the challenge by using tonic water instead. I think it was challenging in a different way than the ice cream would have been. At the end of the day all 12 teams completed the challenge successfully and I had a lot of empty bottles to show for it...

This week was a surprising challenge. I had an overwhelming moment where I was scared to leave the ship. I was contemplating trying to make new friends, to leave behind the familiarity of life on the ship, and how I was going to cope with all the changes. I was able to pull myself together but those thoughts are still whirling around in my head. On another note, I sign up for two triathlons yesterday. I sign up for a try-a-tri in Hunstville, the weekend I get back and the sprint tri that I am training for at the beginning of August. I realized as I was going to sleep last night that I would need to find a bike within five days of my return home; I didn't think that all the way through. 

I am thoroughly enjoying the weekend; I hope you are doing the same.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Down the Canal

My computer was being fussy yesterday so I didn't get to post but here it is.

On Saturday I finally ventured to the Palmarium hotel (home of so many lemurs). I say finally because it is a very popular weekend excursion and one that most people who have been in Madagascar for 16 months would have already done. However, because I am content to stay close to the ship, it has never been necessary. That all changed when a friend from head office came to visit. We set up a small group and off we went. The boat ride to the hotel was beautiful. Fantala was finally fading away and our freedom was given back to us. There was a time when we couldn't stray too far from the ship just in case things worsened with the cyclone and the the ship needed to pull out of port.

I had the pleasure of some wonderful company. We were 6 all together and I only knew one person before we left. Everyone seemed to get along quite well but it is always disappointing when you realize that there are so many fabulous people on the ship and there is a strong possibility you are missing out on getting to know someone that could become a great friend. Anyway, we got to see lemurs and hike around the jungle/forest. I have to confess that a lemur jumped on me and I instantly started crying. The fear of rabies has been instilled in me because I hear the crew nurse talk about it every week in new crew orientation.

Traveller's Palm - If you put something between the areas where the branches connect, to make an opening, water comes pouring out!

The pictures say it all. I had a great trip (apart from the lemur trying to get me shipped home to have incredibly expensive rabies shots).