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COMPASS - the OIRED blog

ICYMI: Street Fair 2015

ICYMI (Twitter-speak for In Case You Missed It), this weekend was the 56th annual International Street Fair. OIRED booth reps got to chat with the folks who braved the weather — many of whom were interested in all the things our office is up to. Fairgoers got a hearty dose of wind and rain, but despite the conditions, vendors made a great showing and there was no shortage of hot food or good entertainment.

woman with bucket on heard

Though carrying water in the rain wasn’t the activity of choice, this woman opted in excitedly, and she was good, too!

In developing countries, women often carry water many miles on their head. This was our attempt to let visitors to our booth see how difficult a task this is, for just a few yards! For really impressive, though, see this woman carrying a 20-kilogram jug of water 26.2 miles in the Paris marathon.

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How do you get to work?

two virologists in a rickshaw

Just two virologists on their way to a workshop! (Pictured are Amer Fayad, back left, and Washington State’s Naidu Rayapati, back right.)

A colleague of mine, Amer Fayad, is in Nepal this week representing our Integrated Pest Management program, which is hosting a workshop for young scientists. On Tuesday, Amer and a fellow scientist discovered there was a general strike in Nepal, so instead of being driven to the workshop in a van, they had to walk about a kilometer from the hotel where they were staying and then take a battery-powered rickshaw to the workshop. Looks like a fun way to travel! Continue reading »

Country Quiz!

In its current phase, the IPM Innovation Lab will manage nine projects, each designed to address a mapspecific agricultural challenge – like controlling the invasive weed Parthenium in East Africa and establishing sustainable pest management strategies for fruit crops in Vietnam. All of these projects will be located in South Asia and Eastern Africa. Continue reading »

Timbuktu – Part III

This is Part III in a series of posts about a trip I took to Mali in 2009. Part I explains the purpose of my visit to Mali, and begins the journey; Part II gets me to Timbuktu. And  now, Part III.

Sankore Mosque

A woman’s bright garb provides a sharp contrast to the mud-daubed walls of the Sankore Mosque in Timbuktu.

When we left off, my traveling companion and colleague Maria Elisa and I were ensconced at our Tuareg encampment in the desert outside of Timbuktu. Night was falling. We had just enjoyed the ritual of tea—three tiny glasses of hot, strong, sweet tea consumed one right after the other. I thought that I might not sleep that night because of the caffeine, but decided to take the risk anyway. Continue reading »