Sunday, September 24, 2017

In the airport one more time. Headed to Haiti for one week then directly to the DR for one week. Hoping the weather holds out. NOAA forecasts no new tropical storm formation for the next 5 days.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Finally I get to see the mountain. But I had to get on the plane and get above the clouds first. Then I only saw it for about 30 seconds before the pilot banked away. I thought I wasn't going to take pictures of it because I've taken so many before. But there's something about it. So beautiful.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Lunch time in Marangu. Notice the slab meat hanging in the kitchen window.
This is one of those times when Kilimanjaro is not visible. I've been here 6 days and haven't seen it yet. How can I be right next to the biggest thing on the continent and not know it is there? Some kind of metaphor in there somewhere...


Translation apps are sometimes hilarious. I mean, I use them all the time, and they keep getting better and better, but for less common languages they can still be pretty sketchy. So I was working on translation of something a farmer said in one of our focus groups (in Swahili). Apparently the correct translation of what they said was that, "there is an increase in natural vegetation." But what the translation app gave me was "natural diarrhea has rebuked". 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

This plant is literally sprouting before my eyes. It's in front of our office in Sanya Juu. It is some kind of cycad maybe? Anyone know? You can see in the centre, white buds. The yellow leaves in the centre were one of those buds yesterday, but today they are leaves about 30 cm high.

Sadly I will not see this plant grow anymore since the evaluation is moving from this office to our office in Marangu for the next few days, and I just follow the evaluation like a wildebeest.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

There has to be a better term than "jetlag". It just seems like such a casual way to describe something that affects your entire physiology. For one thing you can be awake and not awake at the same time. You don't know when to eat, and your intestines have no idea what is going on: "is he sending us food now? There's nothing on the schedule for another 8 hours!"

Mostly I have used denial as my main strategy for dealing with it but I am starting to notice some like slips in alertness which may or may not have been there before. Right now for example I intend to read for a while and expect I will be asleep in about 5 minutes.
There has to be a better term than "jetlag". It just seems like such a casual way to describe something that affects your entire physiology. For one thing you can be awake and not awake at the same time. You don't know when to eat, and your intestines have no idea what is going on: "is he sending us food now? There's nothing on the schedule for another 8 hours!"

Mostly I have used denial as my main strategy for dealing with it but I am starting to notice some like slips in alertness which may or may not have been there before. Right now for example I intend to read for a while and expect I will be asleep in about 5 minutes.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

My room is hilariously romantic for some reason. I swear this is not photo shopped or anything. This place was highly recommended on the world wide web and its new to me. I'll try any place once I guess.
This is a starling. Hard to really see the beautiful blue colour. So much more striking than Canadian starlings




Friday, August 04, 2017

Planes are beautiful. There is no way around it.

In a few hours I get on a plane. Then sit on planes and in airports for the next 35 hours or so. Mostly at this point, I am just grateful that my stomach is ok. Last night I had a bit of a scare and thought that I might have a really miserable ride home. Bad fish as they say. But all systems are go right now. Funny that you don't think about your stomach when everything is ok, just when it starts to get queasy. Really, I should be elated every single minute that my stomach feels good.

This has been a good trip, and again, I am so grateful to the team here for all the work they did the past 2 weeks. It is very difficult to give a sense of the challenging circumstances under which we had to implement the evaluations here. I could list off a half dozen major things without thinking about it, any one of which on it's own would be a major show stopper. Not least of which is the rugged terrain on which this data was collected. In this photo I hope you get a sense of how the surveyors (seen at bottom of photo) are winding their way up a steep mountain trail to get to an interview. The effort involved certainly exhausted me, and I did probably a 10th of the walking others did.