So far we’ve had a few cool outdoor activities here. This morning we woke up at 5:30am for birdwatching. Early in the morning is the best time to see as many species as possible that are native to Madagascar, and it was a good trip. We’ve had a few walks through the trails of the rainforest which are great places to see lemurs, frogs, snakes, chameleons, birds…as well as some awesome waterfalls and far views in every direction. We also took time for a couple days to visit a few local villages in order to see what their lifestyle is like. It was a big change from anything I’ve witnessed before. They live largely without electricity, running water, heat, bathrooms, or other things that seem (or formerly seemed) like basic necessities to me. Children run around and play while adults work long days in their fields of rice or other crops. I enjoyed interacting with the kids. They get very excited about having their picture taken and then looking at a camera to see what they look like. They showed us where they live, work, eat, and play, and where they keep some of their animals. Chickens and dogs roam freely in many villages, while pigs and cows are kept under closer guard. Meanwhile, the services that CVB provide us such as food, laundry, cleaning, and even hot water now seem more like luxuries than basic necessities. After interacting with the villages in addition to having camped outdoors for nearly a week, the way I think about these “basic luxuries” and approach utilizing them has changed from an outlook of indifference to one of better appreciation. I clean my plate during meals that I previously would not have taken a bite of, then I add a few more scoops of rice from the huge bowl that each table receives for every meal. When I put on clean clothes or take a hot shower, I think about people that I have now met that are not afforded those opportunities. I drink some soda and juice at meals but I also am taking advantage of the clean drinking water at CVB, filling and re-filling my large water bottle several times each day. I am hydrated, nourished, and healthy. I don’t know if there has been a single day (it’s been about 20 days) where all 14 people on the trip have been without illness. I am maintaining my well-being without issue. Here is a small collection of pictures from CVB so far. I will have many more when we start doing more hikes around the area.