Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Eco-Benin visits Costa Rica (Feb. 9)
As part of our grant entitled " Supporting Conservation through Tourism Development in the Forest areas of Benin and Costa Rica" RBG is hosting a visit from Eco-Benin, our partner organization from Benin for this grant. The grant is provided by the Program for South-South Cooperation with funding from the Netherlands. The delegation from Benin consists of two people Maxim Djondo and Nadine Worou. I will be sharing our adventures as I guide them through a week long trip to Costa Rica and the Costa Rican Bird Route (www.costaricanbirdroute.com).
Today, Feb. 9 Maxim arrived after two long days for travel from Benin, via Paris and Mexico City. I was up early as well, and went and got some birding in at the Hotel Bougenvillea gardens where we were staying. Good birds for the morning included Blue-crowned Motmot, Ferruginous Pygmy Owl and Yellow-throated Vireo. After birding, breakfast and a battle with fax machine along side the very helpful recepcionistas I met Maxim. A very nice, joyful conservationist of 34 years. We briefly made introductions, spoke about advances with the project and went over the days itinerary. During lunch we asked eachother lots of questions as we were finally working in person together instead of over the internet. After two years of communicating over email it was nice to be able to speak face to face.
In the afternoon, we visited with the grants national mechanism Fundecooperacion and were able to organize plans for the remainder of our grant, further ask questions and get to know the players involved with this particular grant.
In the evening we got right to work at Hotel Bougenvillea. That was until Smallville (Max's show) and Lost (My show) came on. I was suprised to find Maxim was not only familiar with both but was a fan of both and knew all the characters. "Its a small world after all".
Tomorrow we head to Sarapiqui and meet with the Sarapiqui Conservation Learning Center, in my old stomping grounds of Chill-a-mate, and will be staying at Chilamate Jungle with Davis and Meghan.
To be continued..