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October 5, 2007

Back to Africa?

I got an e-mail from the scientist I worked with in Ethiopia in March asking if I was available for some field work in Africa in the fall.

That's all he said.

Where, when?

I figured probably back in Ethiopia in October, but knew he works elsewhere as well. Turns out there has been a seismic swarm (lots of small earthquakes) and increased volcanic activity in norther Tanzania, and he applied for some emergency funding to put in a few GPS instruments.

Count me in!

Problem was (and is), they didn't know if the funding would come through. He wanted the work to be done ~October 8-22, and we worked it out that I would go through UNAVCO (where I'm still working part time), but as of Thursday morning (that would be yesterday), I still didn't know if it was a go! How do you plan for that? I like sponteneity, but I also like to plan for, prepare for, and get excited about things.

Turns out is was a no-go. Relief. So I'm here through October.

However, the group is re-applying for the funding and are hoping to get things going in November. Yay! Plenty of time now to plan--pack up my apartment, study up on the Great Rift Valley, and head over? Finish the project, spend a few days on internet finalizing the documentation, and then travel as a free agent? Explore the rift valley! Photograph the wildlife! Meet the people! Climb Kilimanjaro? Spend some time with NGOs volunteering on various (or one good) projects? Learning, experiencing, exploring, and gathering the foundation (coupled with my experiences in Ethiopia?) for a book?

All very exciting.

However, I still don't know if I'm going to go. And the outlook is not good.

1) The group has to resubmit for funding, like I said, which puts us back where we were a month ago--not know if the project is going, and when.

2) My boss is inclined towards putting someone else on the project.

So, we'll see.

Honestly, I'm a bit done with waiting and uncertainty. I'd like to know what's coming up (or not) so I clan plan around it. Where to put my energy? Time will tell.

Posted by beth at October 5, 2007 8:03 PM

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