The Circle of Life on the Eighth Continent

Ekipa fanihy, the bat team, at play in Ambakoana, District of Moramanga, Madagascar. In back, from left: Rabetsy’fanihy, Cara Brook, Ando. In front: Christian Ranaivoson. November 2013. (Photo by Amelia Yeo)

My third Thanksgiving has come and gone in Madagascar, and I think about my fiainana sambatra—my blessed life—as I explain the American fety to this month’s ekipa fanihy, the bat team. I’ve purchased a live chicken in honor of the occasion, which our masterful mpahandro, Andry, has turned from squawking feathers into fried deliciousness served over steaming rice. I don’t eat meat in America, but it is clearly not the day for that sort of fady, and I ignore my normal dietary restrictions without the slightest misgiving. Most of our meals out here are pure vegan anyway—I feel like this sets the record even. Besides, I reflect, examining my two lean pieces of akoho meat stretched over bone, this barely counts anyway. It’s amazing to me how little food constitutes a feast in Madagascar.

I’m working again in the District of Moramanga, netting flying fox colonies in the Mangoro River Valley, for the third time in what I hope to be a long future of ecological monitoring in this region. —> Read More Here


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