Something is wrong. I wake up in the night with sharp, shooting pains in my stomach and spend the next 2 days on a mattress surrounded by onlookers to my public illness. I don’t care – I’m deliriously sick. I can’t keep anything down, even water makes me violently ill. God, Universe, Something (Italian doctor in Nosy Be) – please make me well again. A remote island isn’t an ideal place to be ill, and the only way to get treated is a nauseous, choppy boat ride to the next biggest island – Nosy Be. Take off your shoes, lay on the cool tile floor in what appears to be a hospital, and enter when you are called in for a blood test. My sickness has a name: Typhoid. Continue reading “Tides”
A rust colored dirt path leads me to the rock formations I’ve been so determined to see- Tsingy. Tsingy means to walk on tiptoes and it’s been said that Malagasy people crossed these jagged pointed rocks on their tiptoes (no idea if that’s true). I’ve spent a few sleepless nights googling these limestone pillars that point up to the sky and now I’m just a few kilometers from them.
“Boat!” is called out just after dawn as I head down to the beach to catch the daily boat en route to Nosy Be. After a pleasant 40 minute ride, we arrive in the port and wade through oily water to get some breakfast before our long journey to the amazing tsingy rocks in Ankarana, on the mainland of Madagascar. Continue reading “Taxi Brousse”
It’s been a long, hot day as finally arrive in Spitzkoppe. We are staying in a very remote place tonight- no bathrooms, showers, or water- but we do have Bushman caves, bright stars, and some really amazing rocks- with art painted on them thousands of years ago- not just any rocks. Despite the circumstances, this is one of my favorite nights of the trip.
We discover trees with leaves so fragrant they are used as perfume, another with bark so dry and flakey it’s used as paper. Nature possess so many functions if you look in the right places, if you are aware. Everything has a purpose. We explore the red/ orange paintings of the Bushmen long ago- people, animals, art. I slowly trace my fingers over a rhino somebody painted- art as a form of communication from thousands of years ago.
I climb up a rock wall, over massive rock boulders and discover a natural pool made from rain water within the rocks- a pool in the sky. We take a dip in the cool, swallow rock pool and wade amongst the hundreds of tadpoles swimming in the clear water- an occasional shriek emerging as I feel they might be poking at my feet. My hand sweeps the bottom of the pool, emerging with green rocks that resemble emeralds.
I sit in the rock l pool with girls that have become like my sisters, completely at peace. A moment of serenity as I watch the sun set over the hills in the distance- a memory I can reach for on a day when my mind is so busy that I forget to enjoy the moment. We lay on the heated rocks, warmed by the setting sun and allow them to warm us, the breeze acts as our towel.
My mind is quiet as I lay in my sleeping bag under the stars, listening to stories of animals around a campfire. I fall into a restless sleep, waking up as the wind blows my hair in the night, smiling at the shining milky way above me, sleepy pleas for bugs not to crawl on my face as I drift back asleep. Is there anything more natural than waking up to the sun rising? Than sleeping underneath the stars?