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Week #12

This week is a little bit calm in the terms of the tasks in the comparison with the last week when we were busy creating and formulating the socio-economic surveys together with the ecoystems services. However, we have still kept up with our other duties regarding the community projects and the personal projects that we have.

Some of us had a chance to participate in some interesting events this week and others have been in Bogota for various reasons (administrative, academic and personal). The weekend started off with few community events. Wilfrido García, president of the Federation of the fishermen and our representative of the community from the Canal del Dique participated in the reunion of the regional organizations of the low, medium and high sections of river Magdalena, including Fecolpa - national federation of artisanal fishermen, taking place in Barrancabermeja with the objective of the integral recovery of the fishing and the wetlands ecosystems.

On Saturday, in Repelon, there was also another event - workshop of the fishermen from the freshwater environment in the social cartography. They also gathered to identify the main problems of the Canal del Dique. Our colleague Luz went to this meeting to reunite with several people, representantives of the communities to organize the details of their participation in her project of social studies (the attitude and environmental behaviour in the fishing community of Canal del Dique) which she is considering to conduct in the month of December.

At the same time but in Cartagena, our colleague Yanelci had a meeting with Lavinia Fiori, representative of the community Pesca Artesanal Responsable and Educación Ambiental at FUNDACION MARINA regarding the community project that she is responsible for and socio-economic surveys. Lavinia did a quick revision of our work and contributed with several comments that we took into the consideration.

As usually we had a meeting with Gabriel on Tuesday at which we were discussing many details and new updates on the community project including our recent work on the socio-economic surveys as we received also some comments from the representatives of the communities. At this stage we are waiting for the new feedbacks and advices from our colleagues in Manchester in order to improve and finalize the survey and later to be able to visit the communities from both marine and freshwater environment. Hopefully, we will have the final version soon as we are already looking forward to the first visits.

Shortly after our meeting, me and Josie went to the laboratory where she showed me the coral experiments which she is doing as a part of her exchange year experience at the University of Cartagena. Her project is about the effects of ocean acidification on the Caribbean coral species (Porites asteroides and Porites porites) from 3 locations that differ in exposure to the canal del Dique.

About 663 kilometers south of Cartagena our colleague Laura has been busy with her Masters and Master thesis project (Appraising the "deep-reef refugia" hypotesis in the Colombian Caribbean). She is in Bogota, presenting her proposal to the supervisors and evaluators of her thesis as well as to the students of University of Javeriana. Fingers crossed.

Other girls (Alex and Adriana) are also in Bogota, for a short visit of their family and relatives and our friend Josie went through the same visa process as me and Alex did few weeks ago although lucky her she got her visa valid for 5 years. The girls took an advantage of being in Bogota at the same time and went to enjoy the streets of this engaging and vibrant capital surrounded by cold Andean peaks. They went through the historical parts of the city and plaza chorro de quevedo where Bogota is believed to have been founded on August 6, 1538. After having a lunch at the colombian-japanese restaurant girls continued in their sightseeing on the main plaza Simon Bolivar and walked all of the famous street Septima until the National park where they went to the independent cinema – Cine Tonala to watch Cafe Society.

It's worth mentioning that on Thursday, November 24, Colombian government signed new peace deal with Farc, a country's largest rebel group. President Santos said the revised agreement was "better" than the previous one because it addressed many of the concerns of those who had voted "No" in the October referéndum. In any case, let´s hope for the best for Colombia….this country deserves new better begininng of something great.

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