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Getting Ready for the Expedition

  • 03/16/09
  • Paul

The Congo Heartland is buzzing in anticipation of the big opening of the Lomako Conservation Science Center (LCSC).

[caption id="attachment_618" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption=" Solar panels and other equipment arrives in Basankusu."] [/caption]

A plane arrived in Basankusu with 2 tons of equipment, mainly solar panels. The panels will travel by motorized canoe to the forest for installation over next few days. The canoe will travel non-stop for an estimated 40hrs, going all the way up to LCSC, then back to Basankusu to pick up travelers.

Alfred, in the picture, miraculously got the equipment to Basankusu in time... despite irregular flights, changes in flights due to weather conditions, lack of fuel, and DRC having an unexpected public holiday because they won a big soccer (football) match!

[caption id="attachment_617" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The inspector of Environment gives the dinner a thumbs up."]The inspector of Environment gives the dinner a thumbs up.[/caption]

We invited the local authorities (Comité de Sécurité) for a presentation on AWF's work in the Heartland and dinner in the garden of the AWF office in Basankusu.

[caption id="attachment_612" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Touching up the office sign."]Touching up the office sign.[/caption]

Getting the AWF office lookin' good for our VIPs. Guests include government ministers and other officials, ICCN senior staff, a Reuters journalist, consultants, and partners.

[caption id="attachment_614" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Videojournalist Jolie Okako delicately packs for the expedition to Lomako."]Videojournalist Jolie Okako delicately packs for the expedition to Lomako.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_613" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Heading to the forest."]Heading to the forest.[/caption]

The first canoe leaves town with the first load of guests, on their way to Lomako. Bon voyage! Don't let the tsetse flies eat you!

About the Author

Paul began with AWF based in Nairobi for a year, before moving to Washington DC. Paul has worked at the Madrid Aquarium and at The Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands outside San Francisco. He was born in New Zealand but grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Paul received his B.S. in Wildlife Ecology and Management at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. He is a member of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leadership initiative and is working on a conservation campaign to combat the illegal trade of Asian pangolins. Paul enjoys photography, travel, hikes in the woods, music, and nyama choma.

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