The day starts very early and ends very late. Already at three o’clock in the night – or early in the morning, as you might think – I pack the last things. At a quarter to four, I leave for the airport in Francfort. The check-in machine even offers a choice of seats. I get rid of my precisely weighed 46.3 kg of luggage at the counter, with the Air France employee joking that there’s probably only shoes in it. To my answer “No, I only have exactly one pair with me, I wear them on my feet”, he looks a little surprised.
After an estimated two hours of sleep, it is already time to get up again. I am totally tired. Everyone is ready on time at seven. The luggage is ready for loading in front of the door, the backpacks are ready to hand. And then nothing happens. Nothing at all. The traffic in Antananarivo has Dimby and the other guys under control. Or traffic jams, rather. Well, all newcomers will learn about mora, mora in Madagascar. After all, everyone is finally arriving: Gris, Dimby, Jose, Fitah, Leon and Mamy as the old team.
When the first cock crows, it’s still pitch-black. Rooster two, three and four follow him and crow through the darkness. But this still does not make light. When it finally dawns, I get up. I grab my toilet bag and a towel and walk in flip-flops to the toilet house. To the right of it, something jumps through the trees, the Coquerel sifakas are apparently already awake.
It rained for hours in the night. No, actually, it was pouring. I have never experienced that here in the dry forest at the end of the rainy season. Rain was rare here when I was here. When the roosters start crowing, I am falling asleep. A short time later I am woken up and walk over to breakfast a bit drowsy. The Coquerel Sifakas are already awake too, a small family is jumping around over the toilet and shower house.
Early in the morning, I am on my feet – with my luggage packed up in front of the tent. Directly in front of our community roof, Coquerel Sifakas jump around between two dead trees. In another, a very high tree sits a Broad-Billed roller. The funny name in German is “cinnamon bird” and describes a rather boring rusty brown bird with a yellow beak, Eurystomus glaucurus. Whether he actually rolls cinnamon out of tree bark – there would be suitable trees here – remains unclear for today. Very briefly, two little Grey-headed Love Birds join him a little deeper in the tree.
Sometime tonight, unfortunately, the air conditioning went off. When the room temperature reached a comfortable 35 degrees, I got up and pressed the buttons on the remote control. Contrary to my expectations, the air conditioning went on again. And cooled down to a freezing 25 degrees. Then I got up again to get a little bit of Antibrumm mosquito spray. The mosquitoes here are nasty.