Let the adventures begin30 October 2012, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
I am finally all packed. The only downside to being a scientific photographer is the amount of camera gear you have to travel with, but the adventures and sights well and truly make up for it. I have wide angle, telephoto and macro lenses so that I can capture everything from monkeys at 50 paces to insects at 50 mm. Plus, I have a video camera to ensure you get a full web 2.0 experience.
My adventure starts in a couple of hours when I get on a plane headed for Ethiopia. I am touring around northern Ethiopia for a couple of weeks on holiday before making my way to Nigeria. Steven Olson, who joined the first expedition to Nigeria from UC in 2002 now lives there and runs a sustainable tour company (www.ethioguzo.com). It will be great to catch up with Steve and his family and see another country.
Daily updates of this site will begin around 21 November - so be sure to bookmark this page and note it on your calendar - the adventure is worth the wait.
iREPORT + YouREPORT = Let's talk.17 October 2012
By harnessing the awesome power of the internet we can capture much more than just my stories - we can capture yours as well. Over the past decade many people have been involved with the Nigerian Montane Forest Project, from research staff and students to funders and supporters from across the globe.
Now is your chance to share your experiences and highlights of your time on the Plateau. Did you experience the early days in tents, or the luxury of the new field station? How has the landscape changed? And how has the Project changed you? Or did you see the potential and fund a research or conservation project?
Wow! Unbelievable news
10 October 2012
Have you heard about the Nigerian scam where they ring you up to tell you your visa has been issued 24 hours after they receive the paperwork? Me neither. This must mean it is real. Wow - the High Commission in Canberra is awesomely efficient. So I am on track to catch my flight with 20 days to spare (last time it was 20 hours after waiting 30 days for the visa).
I am reminded of a scam I saw in Lagos on the last trip. House after house had signs proclaiming "This House is Not For Sale", which I thought was an odd thing to announce. Later I found out the reason for the signs is to stop scammers, often dodgy real estate agents, from selling the houses to unwitting buyers. Only in Nigeria.
9 October 2012
As it has been 10 years since my first trip to Nigeria I had to renew my yellow fever vaccination and a few others. Luckily the yellow fever vaccine caused no irritation, but the tetnus vaccine made my arm feel like it was bruised for about 3 days. I also found out that there is no typhoid vaccine available in NZ (or apparently the world) - so I need to be extra careful not to ingest any Salmonella typhi. The only vaccination left to get is cholera, which is an oral vaccine, so I just get to drink a couple of orange flavoured drinks.
While at the medical centre I also stocked up on anti-malarials and a small supply of antibiotics and other drugs, just incase i pick up some nasty microbe while travelling.
PS: My visa documents arrived in Canberra today. 21 days til departure - so plenty of time to process them and get my passport back. Hopefully.