Today I learned the true meaning of the word “Teamwork.” As the old adage goes, “there is no ‘I’ in team,” and this couldn’t have been more real than today. My dear brothers and I got to explore the beautiful, exotic coast of Madagascar and dip our toes in the chilly waters of the Indian Ocean for the first time, and we couldn’t help but think of how beautiful the traditional ways of life for the tribal people are. We even got to paddle a local fishing boat! What a rush! I can’t wait to come back and appreciate people and my great brothers that much more.
You’re #1 Fan!
So that’s how this would have gone if our day was as perfect as the photos and write ups made it look. However, it was quite different.
We kicked the day off with a rooftop breakfast of amazing food and engorged ourselves on French toast. Christian literally ate 6 pieces, and it was tragic to watch my brother commit carbocide in the prime of his life. Filled to the brim, we set out towards a nearby beach, stopping briefly to see some more plants. They were more or less what you would think they would be, but our guide, who did not speak any English, also showed us a hidden sinkhole, which was beautiful.
Finally arriving at the Cape of St. Augustine, we stopped for a coke and coffee at the Eden Hotel and enjoyed the immaculate, empty beach. We ordered our lunch to have later that day, and our guide, Melvin, told us about visiting a local fishing village. Additionally, he tossed in the idea of getting to ride in a local boat. If there is an Instagram picture to be made in something exotic, like an African tribal boat, you best believe your boys will be in it. Sadly, this boat was nowhere to be found, and we had to walk 2 miles down the beach to the village.
Depressingly, the village looked more like the desert planet of Tatooine without any type of cool technology or redeeming qualities. Our sweet, supple Melvin negotiated with a stranger in a metal shack, and we found our boat captain. Within minutes, we had carried a local fishing canoe down to the water, and the brothers, Melvin, our driver, the “captain,” and his wife were all onboard; 7 in all. Being deprived of chances to pump iron and work towards Mr. Olympian 2018, we relished the opportunity to row a canoe and enjoy the beautiful, pristine ocean water.
Christian, being the sweet young man he is, noticed that some water had gotten in the back of the canoe, so he handed our shoes up towards the front as Josef and I continued to row. A couple of minutes later, we were enjoying the view ½ mile from shore, and Christian finally finds the peaches to tell us that there is “some water” in the boat. Our captain reassures Melvin that there is nothing to worry about, and he jimmies a sail to the front of the canoe. With potato-sack sail in place with sticks, our Titanic picked up speed towards open water, how majestic.
Knowing that the next parcel of land was Mozambique 200 km away, Christian piped up that now the water was to his calf, and the seal on the inside of the canoe was pouring liquid faster than a mom who found a high schooler’s alcohol stash. We had a problem. Melvin, our shaman, then found out that our Costa Concordia was on her maiden voyage, and it was not built for 7, but 2-3 African-chic occupants. Captain Ahab became irate at our demands to return to shore, as I didn’t have my amphibious Crocs on to be ½ mile into the Strait of Mozambique. The shouting continued, Christian took some Instagram videos, and the crew started to bail water out of the hull. Looking back and seeing our driver literally pushing water around with an Adidas flip flop, we knew the outlook was grim.
Luckily, we used our tastier-than-tootsie-rolls triceps to force our way, against Captain Suicide’s wishes, to crash land on a coral reef. We politely disembarked onto the jagged rocks, soaking our clothes, and showed our gracious host our third finger. In retrospect, it’s no surprise he tried to kill us, as he couldn’t handle three A1 top model talents coming and stealing his thunder when his village had its seasonal fashion show next week. A stiff 3 mile walk and wading through the bay awaited us, and we finally made it back to our lunch.
It’s ok, you can open your eyes now. Your heroes are safe, and you have a reason to continue on in your life. Just remember, if it looks like a hollowed out tree with a splash of paint on it, it probably is exactly that.
With wet pants but functional phones,
Josef “These malaria pills are giving me weird dreams,” Hans “I had a dream that Hillary Clinton assaulted me,” & Christian “That’s nice. There is 5 inches of water in our boat” Braunfisch