Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hide and seek

This morning, Benja headed north towards the Burundian border in a last-ditch effort to make it home in time for his brother’s wedding in Minnesota. His flight was supposed to leave via Dar es Salaam a couple days ago, but when the incoming Precision Air plane blew THREE tires upon landing in Kigoma the day of his supposed departure, all subsequent flights were cancelled until they could 1) clear the dirt runway and 2) truck in replacement tires from Arusha.


Yvonne’s flight was cancelled as well, and in order to make her vacation to Mafia Island (and avoid losing 800 bucks in non-refundable travel costs), she ended up paying some random guy to drive her 8 hours to Mwanza to catch a flight to Dar.

Getting to and from Kigoma is…difficult.

With all the trouble we've had this season, it seemed like Tanzania didn't want us here anymore.

Now she apparently never wants us to leave...

So with Benja at large, “weeklies” fell to me and our REU this week. Since I’ve always been the boat person during weeklies, I was a little concerned about 1) all the free diving wreaking havoc on my ears and 2) actually being able to FIND the IER’s that Ben places on the benthos and  magically recovers each week. But as Pete (ever so gently...) pointed out over Skype last night, I've been to these sites a brazillion times now (so it shouldn't be that hard...). 

[Brief aside: a "brazillion" of something has become a bad (somewhat dated) inside joke among Team Tanganyika and was instigated by Yvonne's former MS student, Sam (WE MISS YOU, SAM!!!). It goes a little something like this:

Three Brazilian Soldiers
Donald Rumsfeld is giving the president his daily briefing. He concludes by saying: "Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed."

"OH NO!" the President exclaims. "That's terrible!"

His staff sits stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the President sits, head in hands.

Finally, the President looks up and asks, "How many is a brazillion?"]

So anyway, when your notes on site locations all seem to read "located just off a big rock" and all the shoreline starts to look the same, it's a bit intimidating.

Instead of getting too worked up about it (though honestly I did lose a bit of sleep last night, because that's how I roll...), I pretended it was a giant game of Hide and Seek between Benja and I. 

Upwelling should be occurring Any Day Now, so this set of water samples might be pretty important.

Found it (not sure why I look so confused...). I'm switching out the old IER's for new ones before putting them back in the lake.

Sando of the day (cucumber was added to the boiled egg and overly-ripe avocado after this photo-op and it was *amazing*). Not sure what made the yolk multi-colored and the white brown...but these are questions I don't want answers to. Ryan thought it looked a bit like "The Screamer"...
(I can see it...)
Ryan came along to do video transects of all 12 study sites. We have the exact same wetsuit, and we (secretly) hope Camaro will hire us to be wetsuit models ;).
Fortunately the whole event went off without a hitch (one whole day sans incident!), and we live to fight another day.

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