Day 20: It’s a fady, asifady

Madagascar

Another double dive this morning. Yet again a spectacular dive site; Cloysters. Saw some porcupine fish along with hundreds of other beauties. I practiced more sciency stuff underwater and passed my underwater benthic point out. That means I correctly identified 30 consecutive benthic organisms that were pointed out by a lead scientist. The sciencey bit that I will be doing on this trip involves a component of rolling out a 10m tape measure and recording the organism that lies underneath every 20cm point. Sounds like a fairly easy task, however, hovering less than 1 foot above a tape measure over uneven ground while the ocean is pulling and pushing along with the surge proves to be more difficult than one would think.

Me doing science!

Me doing science!

We got a lecture today on Malagasy traditions and culture. The people of Madagascar have very different lifestyles as compared to Canadians and rightfully so. They have very different priorities and different reasoning for theire cultural habits. A large portion of the lecture was on fady or taboo. For instance during a thunderstorm it is fady to sit back to back with another person. Some places or items are fady to point at therefore pointing with ones knuckle is acceptable. It’s fady to point directly at Andava rock…

DSC_3454

Andava rock…don’t point!

Some other volunteers and I decided to create some equally ridiculous fady’s to bring back home.

ie. One must never make direct eye contact with another person whilst eating a banana. Especially if that banana has been peeled into it’s entirety.

ie. One must drop when the beat does.

Most fady’s are forgiven for visitors such as myself however if I do something that is fady… such as pick up a pen with my feet, simply saying, ‘asifady’ will forgive my actions. In Malagasy language ‘asifady’ means “I’m sorry”, “excuse me”, and “please”. It pretty much covers all of your bases.

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