Timothy Lees’ Diary
Tidal Forests of Kenya

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August 1, 2009: Back to work

Flora Biomass 1 After having a very good day off we were back to the tasks at hand. Today we went back to Kinondo to finish up on the flora and fauna biomass data collection. The sun seemed to want to show its full glory, so sunscreens and hats and lots of water were a must. Today the teams had somewhat different objectives. We were split into three teams. Two teams finished up the remaining plots, collecting fauna and flora biomass data; the other team went in search of other types of insects in the plots. Sean, Michael and myself were part of this last team. Our task was to record all the Ants on Propagule insects and nests we came across in the plots. Bronwyn and Sean had already started on this before so they acted as our guides. The Madafu today tasted extra sweet and I asked for a second helping. At 2 pm we were back in Gazi to do data input and continue the lab work on the soil samples we had taken earlier in Flora Biomass data entry the week and which had been baked in the oven for 24 hours. Gustavo and myself were on data input duty. At 7 in the evening we had a presentation by Dr. Kairo on the work he has been doing in Gazi with KMFRI and other activities regarding village life over the years. He also spoke a bit about his family and himself -- a very impressive story. He moved to the village in the 90s as a graduate student studying mangroves, and has aided in a number of projects in the village. These projects range from improving sanitation and improving the quality of drinking water to social and educational projects. 
Millipede Through his involvement with organisations like Earthwatch, Dr. Kairo has been able to organize funding for buildings in the village, including the new building at Gazi primary for the teachers. He has also helped find sponsors for students to achieve higher education and aided the Women’s group of Gazi with their projects. His influence is clearly noticed in the village whenever you hear villagers talking about him. Tonight after dinner we decided to have a night out. Tima and Zulekha had to ask permission to go with us. The trip started out with a flat tire right after we left the village on the main road. We quickly had that changed and continued on our way. After circling around a bit we ended up at a traditional Kenyan bar where there was local music and people dancing. Quite funny to see the women and men dancing separately. After enjoying the show we set off back to Gazi for some shuteye.

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