Just wading in some dirty water. One cestode is good for digestion, right?
Just rocking the bank, in the sideways rain.
So where was I with this story? Oh, yes, the huge cliffhanger of how we needed more (wo)man-power, but there was no way we could find any help as there weren't any villages for hours in either direction.
Well, sorry to of lead you on, but a man and three boys came waltzing around the corner like angels sent from the good lord above. Very wet angels. With no shoes. And rice bags on their heads. It was pouring rain, after all.
The oldest boy, who was maybe 14 or 15, was extraordinarily bossy. He barked at the others, including the full grown man, orders on how to proceed. I immediately liked this kid and think he should storm the presidential palace to take power of the country, or perhaps- and this is a long shot- run in an the next presidential election. They proceeded to push and pull and dig, and create a series of raft-type apparatuses. In the midst of all this, through my near hypothermic haze, I noticed that the kind man helping us had an AK-47 strapped to his back, under his jacket. As one does. The butt end got dipped in the mud a few times and so he would break for a minute to clean out the chamber. As one does.
After 45min or so, the car was finally freed! I was drenched, frozen, all jacked up on adrenaline, and exhausted. We all were. It was dark, but we were on the road. Finally. Mahefa was kind of driving like a maniac, both because there was only 3rd gear, but also because he was tired and not making the best decisions. And it was raining sideways and really difficult to see. I suggested we stop, sleep and start again as soon as it was light, but Mahefa insisted we continue. Which is what we did for about 10 minutes, until he drove us into a lake and we were stuck. Again. Super stuck. In a lake.
So that is where we slept. We ate a few crackers and no one really said anything. Since it is normally tumble-weed dry in southern Madagascar, you don't generally come across many amphibians. But, apparently they are just waiting for rain to come, because they were out, and calling at deafening levels. I had to put my Ipod on maximum volume just to be able to hear Harry Potter over the frog screams.
Mahefa, checking out the lake.
At about 2 am, I could take it no more and had to venture out for a pee. I opened the car door, which was almost level with the water. A bit of water gushed in and I immersed my legs in the cool mud. Thick, sticky, frog-screamy, cestode riddled mud. I waded to the edge of the lake and squatted down, with my hands over my ears. How very odd, I though. How very odd.
TO BE CONTINUED...