Sorry that I haven't posted in a while. After a 12 hour flight with a connection in Mauritius, I am now finally in Madagascar. I arrived just this afternoon (1pm local time) and was picked up at the airport by a taxi that was sent from the Kew house. There was an hour delay out of London, so my bags didn't get onto the Air Madagascar flight to Tana. So, I'm here with little other than some books, my computer, and the clothes on my back. Hopefully, that will be resolved tomorrow. All of the kew staff are off for Xmas holiday, so I have yet to be able to speak to anyone about practicalities of staying at the kew house (like where I go to buy food, etc).
My first impressions of Tana came today in a 20 minute cab ride from the airport. It's a sprawling city with intertwined rice paddies and various earthen canals carrying water around, overall much wetter than I imagined the central highlands being. Lots of people around the open stall shops and doing laundary in the canals. The streets are crazy with pedestrians, bikes, and auto traffic, big Mercedes vans (taxi brousse) belching black diesel fumes. I have yet to venture out of the kew house on foot, and I am planning to wait until tomorrow to do so, perhaps after I have an opportunity to ask someone which direction to walk. Ok, I'm doing a lot of sitting around right now, waiting for bags, and for kew staff to come back to work, so I'll try to post again tomorrow.