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July 14th 2008
Published: July 14th 2008
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Party at the BeachParty at the BeachParty at the Beach

Near Diego-Suarez in Northern Madagascar
From Rush - We got to eat cow yesterday. Karl, Assany and i got to swim in a bay. We found lots of sea shells and two of them had hermit crabs in them. Karl and I caught two sandcrabs while we were looking for shells. Today we went to a national forest. We saw lots of lemurs. We also saw flowers that Uncle Gayle had on her wedding. We saw about three waterfalls. We also saw a 30 mm long Chamellion. Thats a little bit bigger than an inch. We saw a chamellion that was about one half foot long. And we saw a gekko that was about 8 inches long. That was my day - BYE!!!!

From Matt - I am on a french keyboard with dial up, so probably no pics and a lot of misspelled words!! I need to make a correction from the last entry. There was no reception at the palace. My mistake. I did opt out of the three hour flight to take what I was told would be a 24 hour drive to Northern Madagascar. Silly Me. 41 hours later I made it. It would take me hours to tell the tale and this keyboard is driving me crazy! I rode over 600 miles throught the center of Madagascar averaging about 20 mph! We picked up and dropped off folks all along the way. The clutch cable went out, we over heated. all in all about 5 hours of breakdown time. I learned a lot of french vocabulary. Nazir the kat chewing driver had worked on a spanish ship for a while so we would go from spanish to french and malagasy. Nazir, being muslim, would then take it into arabic! In the mean time he wanted to learn the english words! So there you have it. My kidneys are still functioning. My back is ok and Im out of tylenol, but i would not trade the experience away. Will have pics soon. I promise.

From Karl - what a party last night. Assany has more family than we do. I think my nerw body clock is moving with the sunsise & sunset. i seem to be up & down with it. We had a great day today. saw a bunch of local business at the market - intersting. beautiful place down here. cant wait to come back. I miss my girls & cant wait to see them. cant figure this keyboard out so this will be short. See yall soon.

From Vance - love the country, beautiful place, we need to come back and do it on a motorcycle, assanys family is great, the party was something else, assany as the first person ever in his family that graduated from college....some of the people there make less than 50 US dollars per year....lots of dancing and eating, the kids loved the fact that they could see thier pics on the camera, it made some great memories.....i believe that we have it made in the USA....anytime yall want to fuss about your situation, just come to a 3rd world country....will say more when i know the you, willie, kiss my boy, and tell him all is good

From Nana - The others hqve given you a good outline of what has been going on. My thoughts have been - what kind of life would I experience if I lived in a 4'x4' house with no lights, one door and no windows... far from any kind of pavement or road that can be easily manuvered at a speed more than slowly easing from one huge bump to another. Survival is the only thought...from one day to the next. Today's adventure to Amber Park gave me lots to think about. That's pretty much what we saw today. As we were returning, it grew dark, but life goes on and children/people were walking from someplace to some place by the light of the moon. I am in hog heaven experiencing this with M, V, K & R. WOW. No words to describe. Thanks for continuing your interest...and please continue your prayers.
Enough for tonight. NANA

Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


Tsingy field in N. MadagascarTsingy field in N. Madagascar
Tsingy field in N. Madagascar

Scale is difficult to imagine here. See Next photo for scale.
Inside the Tsingy fieldInside the Tsingy field
Inside the Tsingy field

They tower over 20 feet tall! Very sharp edges.

14th July 2008

A big Texas Howdy!!
What an adventure!!! And to be able to do it all together!! Your comments make us feel like we are there. You are right, we are truly blessed here in the USA. God could have put me anywhere!! Enjoy each mili-second and come home safe! Hugs and kisses to all. love, Ramona
14th July 2008

What a DAY!
Glad to see the Long boys are all back together (minus the one-Jett). Can't wait to see the pics. I'm sure Assany is all smiles as usual. We love ya the most. Willie and Jett
15th July 2008

I'm IN
Would love to travel by motorcycle through the country! Sounds awesome!
15th July 2008

Oh Matt, I can't wait to hear your story of your cross country trip, I was just imagining what it could of been like. What an experience. Ok, all my kids want to know is if Assany is coming back to get his masters. They want to see again at the family reunion. Please pass that on to him. We love you guys, and we enjoy hearing about your experiences. Yvette
15th July 2008

So glad to get a glimpse of the Malagasy adventure. Cannot wait to hear your tales first hand. Soak as much in as possible. Love you all! Sis
16th July 2008

What an adventure
I know this is such an adventure. what an experience for the family and thanks for letting us share in this.
16th July 2008

Assany to get masters
Yes, Assany will be returning soon to Abilene to finish his Masters degree. He will graduate in december. His father "Papa" will be travelling to the US to see him graduate in December. I'm certain he will be at the reunion.

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