Friday, October 30, 2015

@SILibraries Director Gwinn welcomes American Technion Society @ nano Bible ceremony

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Music of Madagascar, some things I was listening to

Some music of Madagascar2015.10.09-DSC04396
  • The Truth (1995) by The Justin Vali Trio              
  • The Music of Madagascar by The Legendary Mama Sana   
  • Beneath Southern Skies (1996) by Tarika Sammy              
I also took advantage of some classic anthologies of music from "the Big Island":
"Tulear Never Sleeps" is an example of the tsapiky style, recorded in late 1999. The two "World Out of Time" volumes were brought about by a visit to Big Red by the American guitarists Henry Kaiser and David Lindley. They recorded a wide variety of music and musicians that generated three albums (the first and third were the most highly rated).

Sources and more information:

Sunday, October 11, 2015

In Madagascar I saw and heard more marvelous things than had come under my notice in any other country - Ida Pfeiffer #QotD

2015.10.03-DSC03878.... and indeed I did!
In Madagascar I saw and heard more marvelous things than had come under my notice in any other country. (p. 275)
From The last travels of Ida Pfeiffer : inclusive of a visit to Madagascar, with a biographical memoir of the author by Ida Pfeiffer (1797-1858), edited by H.W. Dulcken (1861)



2015.10.03-DSC03746 2015.10.03-DSC03782 2015.10.03-DSC03798 2015.10.03-DSC03859 2015.10.03-DSC03880 2015.10.03-DSC03918 2015.10.04-DSC03931 2015.10.05-IMG_5230

Saturday, October 10, 2015

On Antanarivo: There are some moments in our lives which stamp themselves indelibly in the memory, and are different from any we afterwards experience #QotD

2015.10.05-DSC04304There are some moments in our lives which stamp themselves indelibly in the memory, and are different from any we afterwards experience, and such were those few minutes when I first saw Antananarivo. What a host of dim vague ideas of faith and constancy, and courage and devotion, of which that city had been the scene, arose to my mind! (p. 108)

From Madagascar and its people. Notes of four years' residence by James Sibree (1870)


Kenya Airways 263: TNR to NBO

photo-20151013_192827
Gate A

I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills - Issak Dinesen #QotD

2015.10.10-DSC04411I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills. The Equator runs across these highlands, a hundred miles to the North, and the farm lay at an altitude of over six thousand feet. In the day-time you felt that you had got high up, near to the sun, but the early mornings and evenings were limpid and restful, and the nights were cold.

Upon the grass of the great plains the crooked bare old thorn-trees were scattered, and the grass was spiced like thyme and bog-myrtle; in some places the scent was so strong, that it smarted in the nostrils. All the flowers that you found on the plains, or upon the creepers and liana in the native forest, were diminutive like flowers of the downs,—only just in the beginning of the long rains a number of big, massive heavy-scented lilies sprang out on the plains. The views were immensely wide. Everything that you saw made for greatness and freedom, and unequalled nobility.

The chief feature of the landscape, and of your life in it, was the air.

In the highlands you woke up in the morning and thought: Here I am, where I ought to be.

2015.10.10-DSC04398From the Ngong Hills you have a unique view, you see to the South the vast plains of the great game-country that stretches all the way to Kilimanjaro; to the East and North the park-like country of the foot-hills with the forest behind them, and the undulating land of the Kikuyu-Reserve, which extends to Mount Kenya a hundred miles away,—a mosaic of little square maize-fields, banana-groves and grass-land, with here and there the blue smoke from a native village, a small cluster of peaked mole-casts.

All the country round Nairobi, particularly to the North of the town, is laid out in a similar way, and here lives a people, who are constantly thinking and talking of planting, pruning or picking coffee, and who lie at night and meditate upon improvements to their coffee-factories.

Generally I and Nairobi were in very good understanding, and at one time I drove through the town and thought: There is no world without Nairobi’s streets.

I had seen a herd of Elephant travelling through dense Native forest, where the sunlight is strewn down between the thick creepers in small spots and patches, pacing along as if they had an appointment at the end of the world.

Out in the wilds I had learned to beware of abrupt movements. The creatures with which you are dealing there are shy and watchful, they have a talent for evading you when you least expect it. No domestic animal can be as still as a wild animal. The civilized people have lost the aptitude of stillness, and must take lessons in silence from the wild before they are accepted by it. The art of moving gently, without suddenness, is the first to be studied by the hunter, and more so by the hunter with the camera.

2015.10.10-DSC04402 They were never reliable, but in a grand manner sincere.

An African Native Forest is a mysterious region. You ride into the depths of an old tapestry, in places faded and in others darkened with age, but marvellously rich in green shades. You cannot see the sky at all in there, but the sunlight plays in many strange ways, falling through the foliage. The grey fungus, like long drooping beards, on the trees, and the creepers hanging down everywhere, give a secretive, recondite air to the Native forest.

A white man who wanted to say a pretty thing to you would write: “I can never forget you.” The African says: “We do not think of you, that you can ever forget us.”

Then South, to greet the Southern Cross, doorkeeper of the great world, faithful to travellers and beloved by them, and higher up, under the luminous streak of the Milky Way, Alpha and Beta in the Centaur.

In Africa, when you pick up a book worth reading, out of the deadly consignments which good ships are being made to carry out all the way from Europe, you read it as an author would like his book to be read, praying to God that he may have it in him to go on as beautifully as he has begun. Your mind runs, transported, upon a fresh deep green track.

The early morning air of the African highlands is of such a tangible coldness and freshness that time after time the same fancy there comes back to you: you are not on earth but in dark deep waters, going ahead along the bottom of the sea. It is not even certain that you are moving at all, the flows of chilliness against your face may be the deep-sea currents, and your car, like some sluggish electric fish, may be sitting steadily upon the bottom of the Sea, staring in front of her with the glaring eyes of her lamps, and letting the submarine life pass by her.

In a foreign country and with foreign species of life one should take measures to find out whether things will be keeping their value when dead. To the settlers of East Africa I give the advice: “For the sake of your own eyes and heart, shoot not the Iguana.”

2015.10.10-DSC04406 The neighbourhood of the Game Reserve and the presence, outside our boundary, of the big game, gave a particular character to the farm, as if we had been the neighbours of a great king. Very proud things were about, and made their nearness felt.

Love the pride of God beyond all things, and the pride of your neighbour as your own. The pride of lions: do not shut them up in Zoos. The pride of your dogs: let them not grow fat. Love the pride of your fellow-partisans, and allow them no self-pity.

It takes centuries to produce it, and it is likely that Socrates, the Crusades, and the French Revolution, have been needed in the making. We of the present day, who love our machines, cannot quite imagine how people in the old days could live without them. But we could not make the Athanasian Creed, or the technique of the Mass, or of a five-act tragedy, and perhaps not even of a sonnet. And if we had not found them there ready for our use, we should have had to do without them. Still we must imagine, since they have been made at all, that there was a time when the hearts of humanity cried out for these things, and when a deeply felt want was relieved when they were made.

In other words, since we are all prisoners in life, are we happier, or more miserable, the more talents we possess?”

The air in Africa is more significant in the landscape than in Europe, it is filled with loomings and mirages, and is in a way the real stage of activities. In the heat of the midday the air oscillates and vibrates like the string of a violin, lifts up long layers of grass-land with thorn-trees and hills on it, and creates vast silvery expanses of water in the dry grass.

The bird spoke its words very slowly, and the boy knew enough Greek to recognize it; it was a verse from Sappho: “The moon has sunk and the Pleiads, And midnight is gone, And the hours are passing, passing, And I lie alone.”

It was fit and decorous that the lions should come to Denys’s grave and make him an African monument. “And renowned be thy grave.” Lord Nelson himself, I have reflected, in Trafalgar Square, has his lions made only out of stone.

From there, to the South-West, I saw the Ngong Hills. The noble wave of the mountain rose above the surrounding flat land, all air-blue. But it was so far away that the four peaks looked trifling, hardly distinguishable, and different from the way they looked from the farm. The outline of the mountain was slowly smoothed and levelled out by the hand of distance.

Nowadays great sportsmen hunt with cameras. The practice started while I was still in Africa; Denys as a white hunter took out millionaires from many countries, and they brought back magnificent pictures, the which however to my mind (because I do not see eye to eye with the camera) bore less real likeness to their object than the chalk portraits drawn up on the kitchen door by our Native porters. It is a more refined sport than shooting, and provided you can make the lion join into the spirit of it you may here, at the end of a pleasant, platonic affair, without bloodshed on either side, blow one another a kiss and part like civilized beings. I have no real knowledge of the art; I was a fairly good shot with a rifle, but I cannot photograph.

2015.10.10-DSC04400 We white people, I reflected, were wrong when in our intercourse with the people of the ancient continent we forgot or ignored their past or did indeed decline to acknowledge that they had ever existed before their meeting us.


I have the great good luck in life that when I sleep I dream, and my dreams are always beautiful.

My African existence had sunk below the horizon, the Southern Cross for a short while stood out after it, like a luminous track in the sky, then faded and disappeared. The landscapes, the beasts and the human beings of that existence could not possibly mean more to my surroundings in Denmark than did the landscapes, beasts and human beings of my dreams at night.

From Out of Africa & Shadows on the Grass (1937, 1960) by Issak Dinesen

A reading list for my visit to Madagascar

IMG_20150811_170826585_HDRHere are a few of the books I was, well not reading cover to cover, but looking through, before my trip to Madagascar. Amazing how many travelers would go to Madagascar and spend most of their account on the trivial day-to-day of business activities (usually missionary work) than the amazing sites around them.



When the Europeans first land at Madagascar, they have a strong appetite, and devour both animal and vegetable food indiscriminately #QotD

Can't seem to get enough zebu #madagascarMy own private observations are these:

When the Europeans first land at Madagascar, they have a strong appetite, and devour both animal and vegetable food indiscriminately, at the same time that their drink is nothing but lemonade. They are, besides, exposed to great heat, and breathe a moist air, occasioned by the exhalations of the marshes, and the mists or fogs, which arise from the rivers and woods. In this situation they are subject: to continual sweats. which at length weakens the radical moisture, which is so necessary to digestion. (p. 342)

 From Memoirs and travels of Mauritius Augustus, count de Benyowsky... with an account of the French settlement he was appointed to form upon the island of Madagascar (1790) by Maurice Auguste Benyowsky

As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti #QotD

2015.10.10-IMG_5277Had a great view of Kilimanjaro on my flight from Madagascar back to Nairobi (KQ 263); couldn't help but start to hum "Africa" by Toto.

I hear the drums echoing tonight
But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation
She's coming in, 12:30 flight
The moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation
I stopped an old man along the way
Hoping to find some old forgotten words or ancient melodies
He turned to me as if to say, "Hurry boy, it's waiting there for you"

It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless, longing for some solitary company
I know that I must do what's right
As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti
I seek to cure what's deep inside, frightened of this thing that I've become

It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

Hurry boy, she's waiting there for you

It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
I bless the rains down in Africa
(I bless the rain)
I bless the rains down in Africa
(I bless the rain)
I bless the rains down in Africa
I bless the rains down in Africa
(Ah, gonna take the time)
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

But the most remarkable objects on this day's journey were the vast numbers of that splendid production of Madagascar, the Urania speciosa, or Traveler's-tree #QotD

2015.10.05-DSC04288But the most remarkable objects on this day's journey were the vast numbers of that splendid production of Madagascar, the Urania speciosa, or Traveler's-tree. It is not easy to imagine, still less to describe, the appearance of a somewhat distant and oval-shaped mountain crested along its summit, as it appeared to us on one part of the way, by these stately trees, looking like a long line of gigantic Indian sachems, with their helmets of radiated feathers shown in strongly marked outline against the western sky. pp. 202-03

From Three visits to Madagascar during the years 1853--1854--1856: Including a journey to the capital; with notices of the natural history of the country and of the present civilization of the people by William Ellis

Friday, October 09, 2015

I also know that there is a capital some where near the middle of the island, the name of which begins with an 'Ant,' and ends with a 'rivo' #QotD

2015.10.07-DSC04331Unfortunately, I know uncommonly little about this island — not that my geographical education has been neglected, but the class-books I have used did not give much information about Madagascar. I know, however, that the Mozambique Channel, which divides us from Africa, is a little too wide to swim. I also know that there is a capital some where near the middle of the island, the name of which begins with an 'Ant,' and ends with a 'rivo'. There are some syllables between, I believe, but how many, is more than I can tell. There's a government in it, however, and a queen, and some Christian missionaries. Now, it strikes me that where there's a government, a queen, and Christian missionaries, there must be more or less of civilisation and safety, so I would advise that we make straight for the capital. (p. 28)

From The Fugitives; or, The Tyrant Queen of Madagascar by R. M. Ballantyne (1887).

The lemurs are very pretty little things, and, being gentle affectionate creatures, are sometimes tamed and kept as pets #QotD

IMG_20151004_145953Of larger animals they saw none; and it may be as well to remark here that there are no large carnivora in Madagascar — no lions, tigers, leopards panthers, or creatures of that sort — nothing larger than a wild-cat and a wolf being known. Neither are there elephants, giraffes, rhinoceroses, hippopotami, antelope, nor deer; the only large animals being two species of ox, and the wild-boar, goats and sheep, and crocodiles. There are also huge bats, an animal of the monkey tribe called the lemur, hedgehogs, and rabbits.

The lemurs are very pretty little things, and, being gentle affectionate creatures, are sometimes
tamed and kept as pets.

The scenery, we have said, was beautiful. At one turn of the road in particular a landscape of
such beauty appeared suddenly before them that Mark was arrested as if spell-bound; it was such a
gorgeous combination of luxuriant foliage — ferns and palms and bamboos, interlaced with creepers, and enlivened by streams which brawled and tumbled in picturesque cascades, over which
hundreds of butterflies sported in the sunshine. From the height of land on which they stood a
wide, well-watered plain was seen to extend far below them. (pp. 122-23)

From The Fugitives; or, The Tyrant Queen of Madagascar by R. M. Ballantyne (1887).

Some musical selections from Kenya, what I was listening too

IMG_20151001_201104102Got to see some live music (as part of the TDWG 2015 conference, here's what was on the heavy rotation on the trip over and there.

What I was listening to:
Sources and more information:


I have heard of men telling of sleeping in huts in Madagascar, with scorpions crawling over them ... #QotD

IMG_20151004_171013I have heard of men telling of sleeping in huts in Madagascar, with scorpions crawling over them, snakes hanging from the roof hissing in their faces, and of being taken out in the morning, set up to be speared, and only waiting to hear the 'Klick' (which does not exist in Madagascar) as the signal for being speared! All such are but 'travellers' tales,' the product of disordered livers or diseased imaginations. The scorpions were only cockroaches or rats; the snakes, long festoons of soot, such as hang from the roof of most Malagasy huts, which have no chimneys; the being taken out and set up to be speared, only a dream, probably the effect of too hearty a supper after a long exhausting day's journey! (p. 173)

From Thirty years in Madagascar by Thomas Trotter Matthews (1904)

Orchids were abundant, and often, occupied positions in which the growers of these plants in England would little expect to find them #QotD

2015.10.05-DSC04162Orchids were abundant, and often, occupied positions in which the growers of these plants in England would little expect to find them, but in which they gave an indescribable singularity and charm to the landscape. The limodorums were numerous in parts of the road, and formed quite a ball of interlaced roots at the base of the bulbs. A small species, resembling in habit and growth the Camarotus purpurea, but quite unknown to me, and bearing a vast profusion of white and sulphur-tinted flowers, often enlivened the sides of the road along which we passed. But the an graecums, both A. superbum and A. sesquipedale, were the most abundant and beautiful. I noticed that they grew most plentifully on trees of thinnest foliage, and that the A. sesquipedale was seldom, if ever, seen on the, ground, but grew high up among the branches, often throwing out long straggling stems terminating in a few small and often apparently shriveled leaves. The roots also partook of the same habit. They were seldom branched or spreading, but long, tough, and single, sometimes running down the branch or trunk of a tree, between the fissures in the rough bark, to the length of twelve or fifteen feet; and so tough and tenacious that it required considerable force to detach or break them. Many of them were in flower; and, notwithstanding the small, shriveled appearance of the leaves, the flowers were large and the yellow color strongly marked. On more than one occasion I saw a splendid Angraecum sesquipedale growing on the trunk of a decaying or fallen tree, as shown in the accompanying engraving, and sending its tough roots down the trunk to the moist parts of the vegetation on the ground. p. 206

From Three visits to Madagascar during the years 1853--1854--1856: Including a journey to the capital; with notices of the natural history of the country and of the present civilization of the people by William Ellis


The island of Madagascar, from its interesting and singular history, has claims upon the attention of every European visitor #QotD

2015.10.04-DSC04025The island of Madagascar, from its interesting and singular history, has claims upon the attention of every European visitor. But from a Briton it demands more; for — independently of the pleasing novelty of a nation overcoming the deeply-rooted prejudices and customs of ignorance and superstition, and suddenly grasping at the highest pitch of civilization and improvement — he finds himself surrounded by a people emulous to imitate his habits, solicitous of his acquaintance, and gratefully attached to his country. The more he communicates with them the more he must admire their character; courageous yet docile, with a thirst for glory and information that leads them to stray from their homes, although their hearts still fondly linger there; and in possession of talents and perseverance that enable them to overcome every obstacle likely either to obstruct or advance their progress in knowledge. Their firm and enthusiastic patriotism cannot be better illustrated than by the following striking example, which much resembles that stern but inhuman sense of duty which made the filicide Brutus the best of citizens but the worst of parents.(pp. 66-67)

From W.F.W. Owen, Narrative of Voyages to Explore the Shores of Africa, Arabia, and Madagascar, Volume 1 (1833).

The people of Madagascar have no reason to fear wild beasts, or venomous creatures #QotD

2015.10.04-DSC03986The people of Madagascar have no reason to fear wild beasts, or venomous creatures, as there are none upon the island. Cold weather, frost, and snow, are unknown to them; and the hot weather is less troublesome here, than upon the islands which lie in the torrid zone, because the nights are cool and the heat of the day lasts only from nine to three, during which time the sea breeze prevails, and cools the air to fuch a degree, that it is seldom inconvenient. (pp. 357-58)

From Memoirs and travels of Mauritius Augustus, count de Benyowsky... with an account of the French settlement he was appointed to form upon the island of Madagascar (1790) by Maurice Auguste Benyowsky

Although the vegetation was most luxuriant, I was surprised by the almost perfect silence of the woods #QotD

2015.10.05-DSC04183Although the vegetation was most luxuriant, I was surprised by the almost perfect silence of the woods, and the extreme rarity of animal life. Except an occasional note from a bird, and sometimes the wild melancholy cries of the lemurs, there was a deathlike silence, unbroken even by the hum of insects. (p.93)

From Madagascar and its people. Notes of four years' residence by James Sibree (1870)

My attention was soon attracted by a peculiar shouting or hallooing in the forest #QotD

2015.10.05-IMG_5244(Pictured at right is actually Indri indri indri)

My attention was soon attracted by a peculiar shouting or hallooing in the forest, apparently at no great distance from the road. It was not like any sound I had heard before, but resembled that of men or boys calling to each other, more than any thing else. At first I thought it was a number of people driving cattle out of the forest into the road. Still I heard no crashing among the underwood, and saw no signs of bullocks. Then I imagined it must be a number of birdrcatchers or squirrel-catchers. But on inquiring of my companions, they said the noise proceeded from the black and white lemurs, Lemur macaco, of which there were great numbers in the forests. p. 479

From Three visits to Madagascar during the years 1853--1854--1856: Including a journey to the capital; with notices of the natural history of the country and of the present civilization of the people by William Ellis

I spy a classic @Biodivlibrary Africa sticker on the laptop off or colleague from Mauritania #GBIF_GB22

TaiBIF presentation on BIF for Asia at #gbif_gb22

Data mobilization presentation by Siro Masindi (Kyle Copad filling in) at #GBIF_GB22

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Sadly, I didn't get to see the Aye-Aye, but did get to see, and hear, many Indri!

2015.10.05-IMG_5240Though the animals found in Madagascar are few as compared with those which people the adjacent continent of Africa, there are several peculiarly interesting species, respecting which I was anxious to obtain information, and, if possible, procure specimens. Among these was the aye-aye, Cheiromys Madagascariensis, a remarkable animal, found only in Madagascar, and of which only one specimen exists in Europe, in the Museum of Paris. I spoke to some of the intelligent natives about the aye-aye, and found it was but rarely met with, and seemed to be regarded with a sort of superstitious feeling which would make them rather unwilling to attempt its capture. From their remarks and those of others it does not appear to be confined to the western coast of the island, as has been supposed, several having been taken in other parts, and I was led to infer that there is more than one species, as some described the animal as larger than others. (p. 170)

From Three visits to Madagascar during the years 1853--1854--1856: Including a journey to the capital; with notices of the natural history of the country and of the present civilization of the people by William Ellis


One or two views of forest scenery, in which the large trees are covered with orchidaceous and other plants, some of them in full blossom, are remarkably striking #QotD

2015.10.05-DSC04163
Besides the collodion portraits, I obtained a number of interesting views of natural objects and scenery with waxpaper, most of which I succeeded in bringing home as illustrations of the rich and novel forms of vegetation, as well as the general beauty of the country. One or two views of forest scenery, in which the large trees are covered with orchidaceous and other plants, some of them in full blossom, are remarkably striking. (p. 159)

From Three visits to Madagascar during the years 1853--1854--1856: Including a journey to the capital; with notices of the natural history of the country and of the present civilization of the people by William Ellis

Recap of visit to Kenya, meetings, workshops, and safari

IMG_20150923_160621175_HDR
BHL Africa Workshop (24-26 September)
SIL staff were hosted and funded by BHL Africa (via the JRS Foundation) to conduct a full BHL training workshop for staff from participating BHL Africa institutions. A total of 15 people attended the three day session and represented South Africa, Uganda, and Kenya. SIL staff were assisted by Anne-Lise Fourie (BHL Africa/South Africa) and Lawrence Monda (Nationa Museums of Kenya, NMK). The workshop included an earlier set up day; we were able to tour the grounds of the Nairobi National Museum (location of the workshop and HQ for the National Museums of Kenya) where we ran into Scott Miller. Dr. Mzalendo Kibunjia (Director General of the NMK) and Geoffrey Mwachala  (Director Research and Collections, NMK) opened the sessions and welcome the group to the NMK. 

Security throughout Nairobi was oppressive. There were car checks before entering facilities such as hotels, shopping malls and the museum. You also had to pass through a metal detector before entering the hotel and run bags through an x-ray machine. Likewise, in all shops, you went through a metal detector and physical pat down before entering. Traffic was horrendous with a 1-2 km trip often taking 30-45 minutes.  

Attending from the Smithsonian Libraries were: Martin Kalfatovic, Carolyn Sheffield, Grace Costantino, and Jackie Chapman. 

* * * * * 

2015.09.27-DSC03214Amboseli National Park (27-28 September)
After the BHL Africa Workshop, Smithsonian staff and Anne-Lise Fourie (BHL Africa) took two days leave to visit the Amboseli National Park in far Western Kenya. Amboseli is on the Tanzanian border at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro and known for its elephant herds. There is a lake/swamp at Amboseli and we were able to see the elephants bathing and playing in the water. In addition to elephants, we saw lions (including a post-kill zebra feast), wildebeast, water buffalo, hyenas, zebras, giraffes, antelope, impalla, warthogs, ostriches, secretary birds, and various other horned herbivores. 
* * * * * 

IMG_20150930_091157TDWG 2015 Report (28 September - 1 October)
We had a very successful TDWG this year. Overall, the program was very well run. The conference was held at the Windsor Hotel and Golf Resort, about a 30 minute drive from the Central Business District. The complex was very secure with armed guards and car checks anywhere inside the walls. The SIL group had a multi-room cottage on the grounds overlooking the golf course and were visited by a troop of monkeys in the morning and evening. The BHL symposium was held on the last day of the conference as the very last session. Normally this isn't a great spot, but since it was a very captive audience, we had nearly 100% attendance with about 137 people in the audience. Participating in the BHL symposium (in addition to the SIL staff) were William Ulate (BHL Technical Director) and Anne-Lise Fourie (BHL Africa) TDWG Chair, Cyndy Parr (now at NAL formerly of EOL) told me afterwards that one of the board members of the hotel did a day registration just to attend the BHL session. The hotel is very eco-friendly and has an actively managed environmental program. 

Jackie Chapman presented the poster that she and Robin Everly had done for the recent fern conference at the Smithsonian and it was well received.

At the request of Scott Miller, Carolyn Sheffield and I took a side trip to meet with IBM Research Kenya. The research facility was located about an hour drive from the Windsor on the other side of Nairobi. We spent about an hour with the engineering and project staff (25 people) from IBM Research discussing possible collaborations and research projects that the IBM team might work on. 

Attending from the Smithsonian Libraries were: Martin Kalfatovic, Carolyn Sheffield, and Jackie Chapman.