Another travel day. I had a wake-up call at 6 AM, breakfast at 7, and left the hotel at 7:45. Take off was scheduled for 9:45 AM, but was delayed until 10:30. It happens here too. After a one hour flight and picking up our baggage, it was already noon. The three hour drive was bone jarring. Welcome to travel in the third world.
We, my guide John and I, are staying in a university guest house – very nice. Better yet, the house apparently comes with cooks, two of them, who prepared us a very nice late lunch, served after we arrived at about 3:30pm. It was local cuisine, including spicy fried rice, fried plantain, a chopped salad, and chicken. There was also fish, which I passed on; I could only eat so much. It is now 6 PM, and we are both stuffed, but John thinks they are downstairs cooking dinner. We’ll see. I’m reminded of my mother and aunts in Eastern Kentucky. Have guests, will cook, and cook lots.
Some of the university folks came by this afternoon, including the university beekeeper/ instructor, the project coordinator, and the director of the university. It was an opportunity for everyone to meet me and discuss our plans for the next 10 days or so. The beekeeping teacher is having a hands on practicum with his students tomorrow, which we will attend as observers. They are setting up new hives, without bees. Also, tomorrow I will get a copy of the curriculum that he uses in his beekeeping classes. Thursday I am to deliver a lecture to the students and staff. I will decide what to talk about tomorrow, after I see his curriculum. Tonight, from here on, is rest. And perhaps supper.
The plan for my assignment is for me to spend a lot of time evaluating what they are currently doing, give some lectures, and work in the hives with both staff and students. The ultimate goal is, by the end of my stay, to help develop a plan to increase the number of hives and honey production here at the center. I will talk more about the hives (and bees) after we get into them, which should be on Thursday.
The university beekeeping teacher said hives are not making honey now, but are bringing in pollen, from which I gather that the colonies are working to increase population, as ours do in the spring. We are near the equator, so there is no distinct spring, summer, fall, or winter. The seasons are dry and rainy. From checking the weather forecast, it appears to be the start of the rainy season. Plants bloom during the rainy season buildup. I will figure out just where they are when we get into the hives.
I do have email here, but can access it only irregularly. I welcome questions, and will respond. (I’m still trying to catch up on some older, unanswered email in my in-box, so please be patient.) I do ask those reading my posts through Facebook, and wishing to send me a question or message, to email rather than sending a Facebook message. (firstname.lastname@example.org). Emails appear in my in-box in full as soon as I log on, but I must be on line continuously to read FB text messages, and I will only have access for short periods.
I hope that you are enjoying the posts, though it has been mostly travel up to this point. I should have photos to accompany the next one.