Tea

Tea Plantation at the Base of Mt. Mulanje

Tea Plantation at the Base of Mt. Mulanje

This afternoon I visited a tea plantation.  Interesting.  There is not a lot of Tea grown in Asheville so this is not something that I see every day.  As you might imagine, the smell was wonderful!

You can view this location in GoogleEarth by clicking here

If you don’t have GoogleEarth, you can see the location using GoogleMaps

Wednesday Travel

Composite satellite image of Mt. Mulanje

Composite satellite image of Mt. Mulanje

If everything goes according to plan, the FORNESSA Group will take a trip over to Mulanje Massif on Wednesday.  It will be a working trip as we continue to organize ourselves and address the components of our work plans that need to be submitted on Friday.

Friday…. Friday is just a couple of days away, to be quickly followed by Saturday when I have over 8,000 air miles and 32+ hours  of travel time in airplanes and airports which will take me from the Warm Heart of Africa to the Gulf of Finland, by the Baltic Sea.

Quiet Night

Crickets rule the night time in the tropics on the far side the world.

African Field Cricket

African Field Cricket

Better Day

Today has been much better than yesterday. 180 degrees (Ï€ radians – not temperature) better.

The delegations from from Kenya and Cameroon have arrived and we seem to actually be making progress. :-)

It is 6:30 local time and I am off to dinner. I have to write up my notes from the afternoon work session and then, as usual, I will try to do one last post before calling it a night.

FORNESSA Information Managers  + Randy

FORNESSA Information Managers + Randy

FORNESSA Countries

List of countries represented at the FORNESSA Networking Week:
(Click on the country flags to learn more.)

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso

Cameroon

Cameroon

Ghana

Ghana

Kenya

Kenya

Liberia

Liberia

Malawi

Malawi

Malawi

Hotel View

Hotel View

How fabulous is travel to Malawi been for me?  Well, so far I have taken a cab ride from the airport to the Hotel and have only left the hotel campus to walk down to the next hotel for social functions.

This is not to complain, I am here for work – not to be a tourist.  And God knows that there is a tremendous amount of things we need to do.  Perhaps tonight, if we finish work before 9pm, then I will go walk the streets of Blantyre to get a feel for the area.  It may not be a true look into Malawi but I hope to experience more than the isolated world of the hotel and conference Centre.

One PPT Down, Three More to GO

Now that all expected FORNESSA members have arrived in Blantyre, we are back on schedule and trying make up for lost time.

Joe and Michael have given a couple of presentations this morning and I did a tag-team PPT with Michael just prior to our lunch break.

This afternoon we’ll break into groups and, hopefully, make more progress than yesterday.

Compass is a Hit

Compass at FORNESSA Networking Week

Compass at FORNESSA Networking Week

Compass is a huge hit with people from FORNESSA.  While the research from the Southern United States is not directly related to research in Sub-Saharan Africa, the idea of synthesizing forestry research into this type of magazine format is getting LOTS of attention and compliments.

These foresters and other scientists are actively reading the copies I brought with me to Malawi. They enjoy both the writing style and the graphical layout.  Keep in mind that these are folks that see a great deal of International publications through IUFRO, CIFOR, and FAO so they are in a position to judge high quality work.

I know that Compass receives awards from folks in the US and now they can say they are receiving inter-continental acclaim.  Great job Compass Team!

Back At It

Time to push the string.

Good News

My good news of the night:  I now have mosquitoes netting.


Dinner

I am off to have dinner with the group.  I had a few other things to vent but the ideas in my head seemed to cross the line into whining so I decided to keep them to myself.

On a positive note, I am enjoying the time with the people from FORNESSA.  Good folks, especially the Information Managers.

There should be one more post in me before I call it a night.  I’ll make it a more positive one!

Bis Bald

Frustrating Part 2.

The maddening part is today is that we are not moving at the speed at which we should.  Our time in Blantrye is limited and we need to be as productive as possible.  This meeting is a follow from a meeting in Ghana in October and we should be working on specific assignments.  So much to do, so little time. (Cliche but true.)

We can’t seem to get traction on the critical tasks.  Yes it only Monday but we only have 3 more working days.  Maybe we are making progress but it is hard for me to discern.   We could not (did not) keep to the original agenda because 1/3 of our group had not arrived.

As frustrating for as today was for me, I am sure that it was more so for Michael.  *shrug*  Well, maybe not.  Perhaps I am projecting that his Germanic sense of efficiency would be more susceptible to the setbacks.  Or maybe it is me and my low tolerance for sorts of situations.

Still, Michael assures me that “within normal limits” for this soft of gathering.

But let’s keep this in perspective.  The meeting is supposed to include thirty-five people.  Of those thirty-five people, eleven missed their flights to Blantyre and had to stay in Lilongwe last night.  These eleven people were also not able to catch the flight down to Blantyre this morning, however they should be here tonight.  We’ll see.  Seven other people who made it to Blantyre arrived without their luggage.  And at least two other fellows of Liberia were not issued the proper visas when they entered the country and they are still dealing with emigration officials.

So…. I made it to town, my luggage made it to the hotel, and I am not having to deal with the local government officials.  I am one of the lucky ones.

Frustrating

Frustrating day.

Just damn frustrating.

6:15pm local time and I am just getting back to my room.

Morning Photos

Plenary Session

Plenary Session

Information Managers Meeting

Information Managers Meeting

It’s Showtime!

Bob Fosse