Friday, September 05, 2008

CAMPing in Mayumba
Flying into Mayumba on Monday. From the plane we also saw a humpback whale just offshore.

My online silence this week is due to being in coastal and marine planning (nicknamed CAMP) meetings all week in Mayumba, a national park on the southern border of Gabon. These meetings were conviened by WCS to unify species and habitat work and fundraising all along Gabon and Congo's coastline, including both protected and non-protected areas. It has been a very intense and productive few days, and I think we've made great strides towards a concrete strategy. I'm thrilled because it ties the goals of my manatee research and fundraising in with the other WCS researchers and managers working here. We now have a new working name for this landscape level effort: Congo Basin Coast.

The meeting room at Mayumba national park headquarters
We had really nice group dinners every evening which our hostess Aimee deserves a huge thanks for organizing. Everyone pitched in to help with cooking.

Matthew, John & James enjoying a cold beer on Rich & Aimee's back deck overlooking the beach at the end of a busy day. Below, our host and Mayumba National Park Director Rich, and Paul, the Congo country program director.

The team! Unfortunately Hilde, Ruth and Quevain are missing from this picture taken at the airport just before we left Mayumba.

Tonight I start the long series of flights back to FL, which will take 30 hours of continous travel from Gabon to S. Africa to USA. As you can imagine, not my idea of a great time! I'll be in FL for the next 3 weeks to attend meetings and gather/pack up equipment, and I'll return to Africa on Sept. 29 for my longer manatee field season. I can't wait!

2 comments:

Penny Jarrett said...

Lucy you are terrific!! Thanks for keeping all of us in the loop as to the results of the meetings, your work, travels, and wildlife sightings.
Mayumba looks fantastic! Would love to visit there one day and see it for myself.
All the best,
Penny

Ariel said...

Hey Lucy,
I'm glad to see that you were back in Gabon and that you had such good success with your research in Angola. It looks like a really amazing place, I guess Gabon doesn't have a monopoly on beautiful coastal environments. It's great to see all your amazing photos of your time there and in Gabon, thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with the rest of us. I was really happy to see the pics of Mayumba, made me "homesick" for Gabon and the "good old days" there while I was a Peace Corps volunteer. Since I lived relatively close I spent a fair amount of time in Mayumba and it's one of my favorite places in Gabon. I'm really glad to see a collaborative effort being made to focus on marine conservation issues in Central Africa, I'd be interested to hear more about what plans/strategies you all came up with. Anyways, best of luck with your trip preparations and your fall/winter field season in Gabon, I look forward to following along with your adventures on the blog. By the way, how are Rich and Amy doing, anything new or interesting that they're working on in Mayumba, any fish-related projects?
Take care,
Ariel