It’s been an eventful day! Sunrise gave us our first look from Centre Val Bio into the surrounding rainforest, and it was amazing!

Entryway to CVB. | Photo by Brandon S.

Entryway to CVB. | Photo by Brandon S.

Students enjoying fantastic views of the rainforest from CVB. | Photo by Brandon S.

Students enjoying fantastic views of the rainforest from CVB. | Photo by Brandon S.

Endemic birds perched in the treetops, the tropical sun warming our skin after a cold night, and the sound of the river raging below us all experienced from the comfort of a couch is unbelievable. We were shown around the facility in the morning, which was more mind-blowing still, with lab space, a sound studio, conference rooms, a cafeteria, library, dozens of rooms for researchers, solar heating system, rooftop garden, and so much more!

Maia D. excited to learn about Madagascar’s insects! | Photo by Brandon S.

Maia D. excited to learn about Madagascar’s insects! | Photo by Brandon S.

Caroline teaches us about CVB’s solar heating and rooftop garden. | Photo by Brandon S.

Caroline teaches us about CVB’s solar heating and rooftop garden. | Photo by Brandon S.

Jean-Claude Razafimahaimodison (say that five times fast!) provided us with an in-depth intro into the dozens of ongoing programs and partnerships that have come as a result of this world-class research station alongside Ranomafana National Park.

In the afternoon, we finally got to visit the two schools that we will be painting as part of our community service projects. Thousands of people from all over the world visit this part of Madagascar each year, and the world maps that we will be painting will finally give Malagasy students the chance to see from just how far away people are willing to travel to see all of the amazing people and wildlife that call this part of Madagascar home.

A short walk from the road through some beautiful mountain rice paddies and we were ready to start painting! | Photo by Maya H.

A short walk from the road through some beautiful mountain rice paddies and we were ready to start painting! | Photo by Maya H.

Students painting a world map on the school at Ambodiaviavy. | Photo by Brandon S.

Students painting a world map on the school at Ambodiaviavy. | Photo by Brandon S.

While we waited for the paint to dry (literally), we took advantage of our closeness to the local villages to connect better with the curious Malagasy children peaking in from every window. Pickup games of soccer, dance, and origami lessons made the afternoon fly by.

Sophie C. teaches Malagasy students how to fold origami cranes. | Photo by Maya H.

Sophie C. teaches Malagasy students how to fold origami cranes. | Photo by Maya H.

We passed the time waiting for paint layers to dry with some soccer! | Photo by Brandon S.

We passed the time waiting for paint layers to dry with some soccer! | Photo by Brandon S.

We passed the time waiting for paint layers to dry with some soccer! | Photo by Brandon S.

We passed the time waiting for paint layers to dry with some soccer! | Photo by Brandon S.

Before we knew it, it was time to head back to Centre Val Bio, where some of us got a brief lesson in Malagasy moths before calling it a night!

Seb D. and Maia D. learn about Madagascar’s moths from resident CVB researchers. | Photo by Brandon S.

Seb D. and Maia D. learn about Madagascar’s moths from resident CVB researchers. | Photo by Brandon S.