My husband, Luke, an environmental attorney and naturalist with a lifelong desire to see Madagascar, finally devised a plan to get us there. We were to lead eight clients on a naturalist’s tour of the island, where ancient species of birds, animals, insects, and reptiles could still be found (for now, at least). An actress and city girl, I agreed to play the role of naturalist for the sake of this trip, although my part was causing me some anxiety. I don’t like rock climbing, or crossing rushing streams on narrow logs. I don’t swim. The thought of the boa constrictors we’d encounter was particularly scary to me. Even if I didn’t like to think of myself as a fearful person, I was one.

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