It's Wednesday and I'm still in Libreville, so it seems like a good chance to tell you a little about life here - for me and the Gabonese.
As I mentioned before, I am working on this project in conjunction with staff at Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). WCS helps to run many parks throught out Gabon and other African countries, and one of their main offices is in Libreville. As Libreville is the capital city of Gabon, and where WCS staff who work within the parks scattered around Gabon often have to come to conduct business, WCS has its own house in town with lots of room and even a phenomenal cook named Pierre! In addition, visiting researchers working in the country, such as myself, always have to fly in and out of Libreville to buy supplies and get to their field sites, and we also stay at the Case.
While here in Libreville, at least, my life is quite similar to how it is at home. I wake up around 7, have breakfast with the other people staying at the Case (usually bread and jam - because Gabon used to be a French colony, it has bread and other baked goods on par with France!), hitch a ride to the WCS office, and commence my usual work activities of reading, analyzing data and answering email. The WCS office is in a nice building with a lovely patio that faces out to a small forested area where we see fruit bats fluttering about by the thousands every day. The temperatures often reach well into the high 80s here with high humidity, but the patio is pleasant and there is often a lovely breeze. The people on the left side of the picture are Didier Agambouet and Angela Formia, who both work on turtles here in Gabon, and Angela is one of my main partners on the project. After work, we often have drinks or dinner at a local restaurant or dinner at the Case, and I often spend the evenings reading or watching movies.
Life elsewhere in Libreville is much like life in other large cities and prices here are quite comparable to those in the US. Gabon is a French-speaking country and many people work in civil service positions and live near the city center, however life changes drastically just a short ways out of Libreville but we'll get to that later.
I hope all is well in your part of the world. À demain!
This work is generously supported by:
National Science Foundation
Myers Oceanographic Trust
Friends of Long Marine Lab
Project Collaborators and Partners:
Parcs National Gabon
Partenariat Tortues Marines Gabon