Partynight with Craig

Andavadoaka Travel Blog

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Bibi as Bibo
For breakfast we had bread in varying stages of staleness from almost fresh to cardboard. There was margarine, honey, rice, tea and coffee, condensed milk and sugar, and sometimes eggs or rice cakes or bok bok, small sweet local dumplings. Most everybody supplemented this with store-bought peanut butter, Nutella or marmalade, goodies from home and juices from the bar. The first day, unaware of everything, I stole a spoonful of peanut butter from Craig, the medic, who assured me that I had just committed a hanging offense. I was relieved he let me live.

Craig was huge in all directions, his blonde pale English countenance burned to a persistent lobster red by many months of Madagascar sun. He had protruding fangs under red veined eyes, and initially I was quite intimidated by his imposing frame and natural authority.
Pretty Alex
He turned out to be incredibly good-natured, loudly voiced a self-effacing humor and was a great natural teacher, and he came to be one of our favorite people.

Every party night he managed to surprise with creative interpretations of the given theme. When Little Nick’s 18th birthday was celebrated under the theme “Transvestites”, Radoko (which means doctor in Malagasy and was Craig’s local name) fashioned his corset and shin protectors from cardboard and Aluminum foil which together with his elaborate makeup made him look like Silver Surfer after a sex change on some pretty good drugs. He launched into a freeform rendition of Queen’s We will rock you altering the lyrics eschewing the merits of life at Blue Ventures and warning off the local moonshine, Tocagas to which later that evening he himself helplessly succumbed.
Frankie and Bella as Frank and Bello as Frankie and Bella
�" “We will, we will rock you, Tocagas will fuck you…” which indeed it does. The next morning we learned that it is best to keep two small spoons in ones freezer (in countries where one has such commodities) to press them onto one’s alcohol-blurred burning eyes in the morning after passing out in front of the pub. “I woke up in front of the Epi-Bar to find a bunch of volunteers staring down at me like it was something unusual”.

When not partying, Craig was a phenomenal teacher whose funny anecdotes and engaging role-play schemes drove CPR and defibrillation as well as dive-related emergency procedures deep into our brains. How much easier is it to remember to perform CPR to the rhythm of “Nelly the Elephant: (or alternatively, in case of the absence of any family members “Another one bites the dust”) rather than some abstract number which I would repeat here except I’ve forgotten it.
"Girls" and "Boys"


One night Arnaud and Craig and I had a long and depressing discussion of politics and ecology, the military, ghettos, the war, race, riches and poverty, education, what-have-you. The kind of conversation that happens too rarely in the frenzy of everybody’s having to celebrate their leisure time and partying their worries away and under the carpet and that somehow binds you to the people you shared it with and that is refreshing in its bleakness.


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Bibi as Bibo
Bibi as Bibo
Pretty Alex
Pretty Alex
Frankie and Bella as Frank and Bel…
Frankie and Bella as Frank and Be…
Girls and Boys
"Girls" and "Boys"
THB! THB!
THB! THB!
Girls, boys, whatever
Girls, boys, whatever
Toma dreaming
Toma dreaming
Andavadoaka
photo by: tpuell