Kenya Madagascar Expedition 2011



You would think that everywhere in the world men get paid more than women.  If you think that way then you’re wrong.  In Antananarivo the capital of Madagascar, women and men are equal, while in America men get paid more than women.  For every $1.00 men make, women make .75 cents.  That was a fact I learned from Dr.  Chap.  I never know that until today.  This is interesting because I always thought women and men made the same thing, if they had the same job.  As you can see I was wrong.

Also in Madagascar they speak more than one language.  The official language is Malagasy, but they also speak French .Once you travel around Madagascar you see different ethnic groups that speak different languages.  In Antananarivo you see people who look like a mixture of Polynesian or Indonesian.  There is no common animal in Madagascar; it depends on where you go.  There are three different ecological regions.  These include humid, dry, and the rain forest.  In the humid part you would find many varieties of lemurs and birds.  In the rain forest you would find different species.  Almost too many to count.

The University of Antananarivo has 4,000 students in residence.  Madagascar has 6 different University because they have 6 different provinces.   The professor work hard to make sure that their students learn absolutely everything that they know.  They go to the field for about 3 to 4 months to create their own research for students who would like their bachelors.  While I was at the University of Antananarivo I had the pleasure of meeting 4 students and a teacher.  I meet Landryh who is working on his Ph.D., Toky who is working on his Masters, Eddie who is also working on his Ph.D. and Malala who is preparing her Masters for ecology and Professor Patricia who teaches Ph.D. students on small mammals.  The student I found most interesting was Landryh because he was working on his Ph.D. about climate change and works with small mammals and learns about the climate change of small mammals.  He works on the 3 highest mountains of Madagascar, the North, Central, and Southern part.  I found him interesting because to want to know about small mammals is interesting in it.  After the students introduced themselves, we also followed suit.  I told them how I wanted to go to college and major in journalism and minor in communications and study aboard. 

In the office Dr. Voahangy Soarimalala works in, they have pictures of animals that they discovered on the wall.  They also have a room full of animals that they captured, killed, injected them with a chemical to preserve them and keep them in jars.  Sometimes they capture them, kill them, and then stuff them.

We went to a lab full of curated animals.  We saw several different types of lemurs.  Like the lemurs that are carnivorers.   Several different species of hedgehogs.  Like Fineries Xirophilea le platem Halately, and the Rasalandizasana.  Also several different types of birds like an owl, some Andrano, some Bofotakas, Fiunarantsoa, Vanga Eurvirostris, etc.  The birds I picked were stuffed with cotton and fluffy.  With birds the males are more attractive than the females.  Dr.  Kusimba joked that with humans it’s the other way around.  Something that was interesting about hedgehogs is that they tend to  preserve the original colors in which they were trapped.

Overall my day was full of interesting and fun-filled facts about Madagascar’s ecological diversity especially the diversity of mammals.