24 January 2008

Useful links for getting to know Madagascar

So here are links to some sites that share a good deal of info to get you started learning about Madagascar.

The place to start, if you like the bland facts laid out in an indigestible manner, is the CIA factbook. They really do have some startling facts about pop. growth rate and literacy levels and the like. Did you know that one natural disaster that Madagascar is prone to is locust infestations? If you read the factbook you would.

One area of conspicuous absence in the world factbook is the natural history. This is weird considering that Madagascar has one of the most unique biological regimes, with over 150,000 species found nowhere else on the planet. Try going to PBS's Madagascar - A World Apart, or Conservation International's Biodiversity Hotspot - Madagascar. These are good starting points and the related links sections on both pages are gateways to a plethora of info on Madagascar's biological world.

Another really good site, with tons of info and beautiful pictures of flora, fauna and people is WildMadagascar.

A few other sites to check out:

Madagascar Embassy

Lonely Planet Madagascar

Cortez Travel and Expeditions

That should be more than enough for the most curious of you. Let me know if you find anything else that might be good for me to share or read.

07 January 2008

Getting ready to depart

So I think that I have everything that I need for my journey across the world. I'm a pretty simple person so I shan't need to bring a lot of creature comforts like granola bars and my blankie and things like that. I am lucky enough to have a camera so I will hopefully be displaying photos for all of you in the near future.

February 17: fly to D.C. for three days of paperwork and shots.
February 20 - April 22?: live in Antananarivo for two months with a family learning Malagasy language and the culture and technical knowledge for my job. If they think I'll suffice, then I get to be sworn in as a tried and true PC Volunteer.
April 2008 - April 2010: serve as a PeaceCorps volunteer somewhere on the island doing something related to their protected wildlife areas.

Check out the the video at the bottom of the page to get an idea of what some of the environmental issues on the island are. I will post links soon so all of you can get more info about the 4th largest and 1st oldest island in the world.