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So I landed in Tana the capital and Colin picked me up.  Our flight to Tamatave(sp?) got cancelled so we got a flight directly to the Ste Marie island the next morning.  Kim and the boys flew in later that day.  I think that was the 22nd - but I'm 100% sure since it's a little blurry!
To put it in perspective... my house is larger than the airport terminal.  Way bigger!  In order to get to our accommodations we had take a cab for about a mile, then put our luggage and ourselves in the canoes and get ferried across the water to yet another island.  The bungalow was spectacular!  Mosquito netting and all.  Very tropical island like.  The cost for my single bungalow was about $20 +/- per night.  You should be able to tell by the pictures that you couldn't get it much closer to the water!
All electric is provided by generator.  The cost of fuel is high, so they only ran the generator from 8AM-10AM and then from 5PM-10PM.  After that you were operating by oil lamp.  One had to be ensure to recharge batteries or you were simply out of luck!  The internet was sometimes spotty and you have to buy credits.  So accessing email became a bit of an art.  Big surprise I ran out of credits very quickly and we had to go into town on the main island to purchase more.  Cost was about $2.50 an hour, but Colin said he thinks the day rate is higher, which would explain why I burned up the credits.
Ockie is the owner of the "hotel".  He is South African and looks like a blend of ZZ-Top and Captain Jack.... long beard and all.  The chef's name is Oliver and he looks kinda like Snoop Dog.  PepPay was the waiter, bartender and all around go to guy.  Upon arrival PepPay offered me a sip of "Vanilla Juice" from a big glass (about 3 gallon) bottle.  It was apparently a community straw which normally I wouldn't do, but when in Rome... I wasn't surprised to find that the Vanilla Juice was actually Vanilla Rum.  So let the fun begin!
All of the staff were very nice and we interacted with ease.  We met a young South African couple.  Arrived the same day as us and all meals were served family style so we got to know them quite well.  It was amazing how many countries we all had in common.  In a past life they taught English in Taiwan, traveled to the Philippines and Cambodia.  So it was fun talking about places that we all had in common.  The ladies name escapes me, but she stepped on a sea urchin at one point.  I didn't realize how toxic those things are until I saw her foot swell up.  She took it like a champ, but you could tell she was in absolute agony.  I provided a stash of pain killers and Colin performed some first aid.  She was doing much better the following evening but it underscored the fact that if you had a medical emergency out there you were pretty much screwed.
Ockie's dog, Teddie, shown in some of the pictures used to belong to another South African couple that lived on the island.  They were murdered by two disgruntled employees a few months ago and that's how the dog came to be with Ockie. 
The black and white Lemur's name is Eddie.  He actually belongs to another hotel owner but apparently escaped and keeps coming back to Ockie's place.  Very friendly and will allow you to pet him for the mere cost of one banana.
Colin and I did a little hiking the first day.  We went about a third of the way around the island.  The pictures don't it just.  I quickly learned that Madagascar was a birthing place for sperm whales.  We were told that five to twenty thousand whales pass along their shores each August and September.  Unfortunately we just missed the whales.  Taking a chance anyway Colin, Angelo and I took one of the last whale watching tours of the season.  It was a disaster!  The seas were rough and it rained about an hour into the trip.  Never did see a whale and I would have paid triple the price to be taken back to my little paradise at high speed.  Instead is was a three or four hour nightmare.  Cold, wet and miserable. 

I now hate whales!  I wonder what they taste like...
The following day we hired Flora, the canoe guy, to take us around the island and take us to a good snorkeling spot.  Colin and the boys hung out on the beach while Flora took me out a ways.  I wish I had listened to that little voice that had told me to shave that morning.  Because I had a beard, the mask wouldn't seal.  So as soon as put my head in the water, the mask filled up.  So snorkeling was a bust.  Instead I hung on to the bottom-front of the canoe and Flora towed me around.  The water is crystal clear so I could still see pretty well. 
HOWEVER, as we neared shore, the water got really shallow quickly and I could see that he was about to drag me over a whole bed of sea urchins.  So you have to picture me clinging (upside down humping) onto the front-bottom of the canoe, screaming at Flora to back up all the while becoming one with the boat.  If I had let go, I would have looked like a human pin cushion.  After seeing how bad just ONE spike can mess you up, let alone dozens and with my allergic reaction to bee stings, I would have probably been near death. 
Our last day was spent doing absolutely nothing.  Kim, Colin and I simply sat around and talked smart.  It was very relaxing. 
That final night we made some more friends as some more South Africans showed up.  As it turns out the leader of the group, Manni, was the head guy for one of the mining projects.  They were a blast, playing guitar and singing semi-American songs.  Late that night I got into a dice game with Ockie, Oliver and Manni's son.  We played three consecutive games and each time the bets got bigger.  I finally won the last game and came out about $30 ahead (if my conversion is right). 
I went to bed at 1AM and we had to get up at 4 AM to catch our boat back to the main island of Madagascar... so that wasn't too bright of me... <sigh>
Following about a one+ hour boat ride, we got on a bus and it took about three hours to get to Kim and Colin's place in Tamatave.  This wasn't too fun considering the body odors that insulted your senses... Hello people... ever hear of deodorant!
Right now I am checked in a four star hotel near Kim and Colin's place.  Four stars is laughable by American standards and I would gladly trade the 24/7 electricity for my little bungalow back at Ockie's place.