I left Lobster Cove in the rain. Tessa was having her annual birthday party with her friends. She is 30 now and some of her friends have babies and everyone is a lot more responsible with alcohol and fireworks than when they were in their early 20s.

The tent had been set up and this made the rain irrelevant. I took the rain with me to the airport and then it was over.

Tessa warned all the neighbors about the fireworks she had bought. The combination of alcohol and fireworks used to unnerve us a lot. Axel had to carry the nervousness by himself. I learned that the party went as planned and everyone had fun.

Thanks to NyQuil I slept most of the way to Paris, waking up as rested as one could be after a 4 hour sleep. The flight was not very full considering that it is summer in Europe and the Euro is down. This was not the case for the flight to Antananarivo (Tana for short). Luck had it that next to me was a mercurial 3 year old. He fell asleep just before take-off and I considered myself lucky, not knowing that his sleep would last about 10 minutes out of the 11 hour flight.

From that moment on he babbled to himself, sang to himself and tried out new sounds as loud as he could; everything in his loud screechy beginner’s voice.

He also wriggled and kicked and occasionally had a temper tantrum. I felt sorry for the person in the seat in front of him who had to endure all that kicking. The only thing that temporarily quieted him down was a large cookie filled with frosting. He would moan something like ‘cadeau,’ and then his (very young) mom would give him a large kind of oreo (un gateau choco prince). The cookie would temporarily quiet him down but as soon as it was gone he would rev up again. Filled with more sugar, he resumed his screeching and singing and wiggling and kicking. No cartoon or music video could calm him down. My luck!

The processing of our health status and immigration status was confusing, chaotic and took forever as we inched our way through this line and then that. But people were in great spirits, except people like me who had been on the road for 24 hours and had been sitting half the time next to a little devil. A driver from the office was waiting for me but I never saw him – the arrival hall is one large teeming mass with people holding placards; a forest of names and hotels and companies. I never saw MSH and took a taxi; later I found out he was there. I tumbled into bed at 2:30 Madagascar time which was exactly 24 hours after I left Lobster Cove

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