Timothy Lees’ Diary
Tidal Forests of Kenya

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July 27, 2009: First research day

This morning started early because even though I was tired from the Marathon, I just could not sleep past 5 o’clock. Looking up at the sky it looked like rain today. After breakfast and a pre-discussion on what we were going to do, we packed our bags and went over to the lab to hitch a ride to the village of Kinondo. We would be doing most of the work at either Gazi bay or Kinondo Bay. At Kinondo Bay we were split into two groups, the “animals” and “plants”. Both teams would be gathering biomass info on the designated plots. I was an “animal” today. This basically meant that I would be collecting biomass data on all the animal life within the plots, which would give a significant image of the development of the plots. The plots Chart are 6 by 6 square meters and there are 32 monitored plots at Kinondo. Within the plots there are also control plots where nothing is planted. The object was to have a significant representation of a plot by dividing the plot into quadrants and randomly picking a quadrant for collecting data. The accumulated data would show if there was a either a positive or negative impact on the animal life due to the reforesting efforts. After doing the Biomass data collecting we had our lunch. In the afternoon we were invited to an official welcome into the village, which would be Welcome held at the Gazi Primary School. The students welcomed us with song as is the tradition, after which we were introduced by the headmaster and each of us talked abit about where we were from. There was a motivational talk from Michael, Robert, Tema and Zulekha on the importance of having a good education. This was done in Kiswahili and mainly because Tema, Zulekha and Robert had all been to Gazi primary and as such were positive role models for the children in the school. The children of the school requested that we return their welcome by also singing a song together as a group and after much thinking (which wasn’t easy) we decided on singing the national Group sing anthem of Kenya. We of course just sang along as the others did most of the work. After the village welcome at the school we went to do data input in the lab. That evening, we had a talk on the Kenyan Health system, specifically work done in the Hospital at Msambweni. 

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