Saturday, 15 May 2010

I have been making preparations today for next week, lots of making marks on maps and worrying about experimental design. Fortunaterly there is nowhere on the island that can't be reached in under a few hours, due to it being widdy. you reach these places by using the single loop road that the island has.
I am still meeting many people, people still want to meet a muzunga. I was actually followed by a crowd of children the other day, till a couple of embarressed looking guys told them off :P very strange.
I have been reading books a lot here recently and just discovered a memory technique which works very well for my brain. It took me 3 minutes to learn pi to 28 digits. I feel like a superhero.
I feel there are lots of little things I should mention about Anjouan. Especially as taking photos will be hard as i think that would be a bit rude here.
Many of the women wear white mud on their face. I understand its to stop the suns effects on their skin, keeping them young and beautiful. And eternally muddy.

everything has a known price here, for example a coke is 200 francs (40p) and a taxi ride is 300 francs (60p) and everything is exactly the same price wherever you go. There is no haggling and its the same price for white people. I had one guy slightly overcharge me for a cab fair but he looked so deeply embarrassed by what he was doing (charging me an extra 30p) that I was happy to give it to him!

There are millions of ways of saying hello here, from all different languages and people like to kinda test you by firing two or three at you. They are very happy when you know them!

there are cows and goats and chickens everywhere, seemingly without owners. I have seen a flock of goats very determinedly trotting down a road completely on their own quite a few times. They live off the rubbish, there is no rubbish disposal system here whatsoever. Despite this the seem extremely healthy, though the cats and chickens are all tiny. Mmmm The rubbish ends up in the dry or not so dry river beds, producing a river of rubbish. every now and again someone sets alight to it, presumably a form of disposal.

Given the amount of plastic wrapping they get through, its a little shocking.

anyhoo I'm off to memorise things
love to all


  1. That's what you can bring back for me, a teeny tiny catchicken. (I'm not suggesting you splice the two, but I have no preference as to which I get.)
    Also I am making you a cape for your new super-power.

  2. Sam!!! Pene told me to check out your blog and i'm glad i have. I don't think i could be more jealous of you right now. I'm sat here "revising" for my global biodiversity exam tommorow.

    Tell me all the boring stuff that no one else will find interesting! you dont even need to glam it up. Are you using line transects? What time of day? How often? Bah i'm excited just thinking about you doing the field work! I miss the days of walking through pristine rainforest counting animals.

    Annnyy how. Hope it goes well. And remember when things go wrong and get frustrating (as they always do with field work) Take a deep breath, look around and remember what you're doing and why you're doing it. We have a tendency to forget where we are after several weeks of work in the same place.


  3. hi,
    try to take some photos even if only of the countryside. people might be happier to let you take photos if you show them to them, mum used to have a polaroid and she would give people photos of themselves, which they really enjoyed.
    It is great hearing about your trip, loads of people have told me they are following your blog, not all commenting as it is quite difficult to do. took me ages doing this one,
    lots of love anyway, m x