27 June 2011

....And the Wheel Turns: A year in review

Well... I’m back! Both to Madagascar and to this digital weblog of my exploits. As I continue my protracted transition from Peace Corps volunteer to academic / conservation professional I am reevaluating the purpose of this blog and its potential (more on that in a future post), I realize many of you may not quite know what I’ve been up to. That may be exacerbated by the fact of my signing off of here so abruptly and then disappearing from normal human reality into my own personal malarially-feverish year of grad school. So in lieu of the malagasy folk-tale about how the gecko got its spots (also in a future post, you better believe), I’ll just do a quick picture post of some of the highlights of my last year to get us all back up to speed. Then i’ll be free to focus on Madagascar and conservation.

After touring the North of the island with a bunch of amazing friends, going to places like this...


...and this...


...and then my 6 months were up and it was time to come on back to Fremont for a couple
weeks to recuperate, see friends, go to museums and places like the lovely Hokone Gardens in Lot Altos.


...and even had time for a jaunt up Mission Peak


After my dozenth going away BBQ, it was off to Madison, WI...


 to begin my masters in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development in the Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies. While it feels like I spent the next 9 months buried in the basement of this fantastic building....

...going over my pictures I am reminded that I did get to do quite a bit. Like moving in to my sweet flat, with my amazing roommates, and....building a "breakfast bar"? Why not!


Of course, I had to get outside, too. The Nelson retreat helped out in this regard. I got to experience Devils Lake in the fall...

...and make the first of several forays to pay homage at St. Aldo Leopold's hermitage (Im sure I will write about him on here eventually)...


 I wandered about Chicago with my cousin Christian, visiting from China...


...and somehow I made it through a Madison Winter...


...though I can't say I'm a local yet because I certainly wasn't crazy enough (like Carlita) to do this...


...and I certainly didnt go ice fishing. A few winter gatherings, like this wine and cheese party, helped me make it through...


...and then shit hit the fan in Madison, and when I wasn't hitting the books, I was staffing the phone banks, or screaming at the capital...


...and most definitely sleeping there...


 Come spring, I seemed to have somehow passed my classes, so I took the time to Assault the shit out of Madison, with my old friend Kuros and the roomies...


...and even had time to go on a few climbing trips...


 ...before having my head shaved and hopping on a plane, only to find myself right back where it all started, to the very same bed even, as if it had all been a dream...

Next time I'll let you all know why Im back, and what I am trying to accomplish...