Timothy Lees’ Diary
Tidal Forests of Kenya

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August 3, 2009: Last Night

Next Generation Mangroves, Friendly Soccer Match and Last Night 

This morning I woke up thinking, wow has it been 10 daybs already?? The time has really gone by fast. Today we would be heading out to Kinondo BNursery ay and the nursery to plant the next generation mangroves for that plot. The species that we were going to be planting is Avicennia. We would be planting in three plots. As usual we were spilt into groups to have the work done efficiently. I was with the “Transporters”. We transported the young plants from the nursery to the planting site using stretchers, about 40 plants to a stretcher. It was very good feeling of being able to actually have a part in the reforestation efforts. It was important to make sure not to press down too hard on the bulbs when filling the holes, since this could damage the roots; and to make sure that no compression is left around the plants. This would cause the salty seawater which came in with the tide to Special tree remain 
Stretcher around the plants and the salinity would kill the young tree. We were fifteen in total and we quickly got two plots finished before our daily madafu break. Today would be the last time. After the break we finished the last plot and took group pictures. Gustavo got the chance to plant a special tree, of which we took the GPS coordinates, so we could track its growth.  Today our lunch was a feast of large mud crabs which had been arranged by Dr.Kairo. This was very tasty. After lunch we prepared ourselves for the big football match to come. We would be playing against the Gazi youth soccer team. This was actually a good thing since among all 10 of us we maybe had 3-½ average football players with years of off-the-field playing experience. So yes, we lost the match, but it wasn’t that bad. We actually got a goal in and we only lost by two points. The final score was 3-1. This was thanks to a very good addition we made to the team before the start of the game: he scored our first and only goal. Our Crabby feast performance wasn’t that bad since we managed to keep the goal scoring to a minimum with a lot of defense. There was no way we could keep up with those guys. It’s really a good thing they didn’t let us play against the older guys. The crowd that gathered to support the local team really lit up the air with shouts and yells and laughter -- especially whenever we made blunders. After the game we Football enjoyed drinks with the team and they told us about what they had accomplished and the plans they had to make the team a better one. One thing that stood out is that discipline, strong good character and brotherhood within the team and the young guys is very important. This was very admirable. After dinner tonight we went to the beach to enjoy a campfire. It was cool sitting around the fire just enjoying the ocean breeze and having the added bonus of sampling some Kenyan wine spirits. It had a real kick to it and helped to feel less of the cool breeze. We chatted up some and Gustavo, Martin and I each sang a song in our own language just to give a little flavor. Thus ended our last night as a group together.

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