Monday, 19 October 2009


Today, perhaps, we actually have some success to report - there's a car sitting on the drive that wasn't there yesterday. It's a black (to keep nice and cool...) Suzuki Escudo for anyone who knows about these things. And the keys are in my pocket - but it's not ours yet... We did (finally) agree on a sale price (we got him down c. $800 which is probably worth while) but the next challenge is getting the bank in the UK to tranfer the money to a Tanzanian bank account in Tanzanian Shillings. And until the money arrives in his account, the seller is keeping the documents, so we can't drive it yet. But at least I know we'll get the car and he knows he'll get the money. Just a shame you can't make a credit card payment here.

The question remains though, should we really be trusting a second-hand car dealer who's name is (yes, really) Sham? At least I know his middle name isn't Con...

Meanwhile I've also been struggling with some proper work - for much of the last week between hunting cars and houses I've been trying to revise a paper following the most detailed set of referees comments I've ever seen - 8 pages all told (some people have more time than sense!). And I finally finished it - hurrah. The problem is that the documents involved are now so large that I can't upload them in an e-mail to send to my co-authors - 2.7kbs is a pretty slow internet connection and it keep breaking mid way through. Humm. Still, I did get an very useful introduction to the director of the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (the organisation who provide my research permit and, thereby, our residency papers, etc.) from my host at the University of British Colombia (where I now have an honary position, hurrah! More admin finally coming together...).

No birds to report today, but I'm just about surviving on the additional ones seen at the weekend whilst visiting people. Green-winged pytilias, red-cheeked cordon bleu and purple grenadiers are not only fantastic names, but also fantastic birds (even if they are very common around here).

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