On our fourth day I wake up a bit later, and I stay in my tent to read and write. Around eight our cook makes some coffee for the team – no sugar for the vazaha, he says giggling. My eating habits are a constant source of amusement for the team and nobody can understand how I can eat so little rice. But really, if you had a look at the ridiculous amounts of rice my team mates eat at every meal you would understand how. We have fries for breakfast, which is a welcome change after the dried fish we had yesterday. And the day before. I like this place, it's quiet, and being away from the villages I don't have children staring at me all day long.
It's a misty morning when we leave Moramanga for ten days of fieldwork in Mangabe, where we are setting up and promoting a new protected area. Humidity clearly reaches its peak at dawn, and I can barely recognize the shapes of the bigger buildings. The streets are already full of people and animals running around. The team going to Mangabe is quite large, and every couple of minutes the car stops to pick somebody new up. Soon I lose track of how many people are in the car, and of who's who. There are MV staff, people from the topographical and forest agencies of the government, representatives of local communities, mayors, a cook and who knows who else.