Phil & I arrived in Bishkek on Sunday, where we were warmly welcomed by our partners on the ground at the NABU office and went straight to work. We fetched the expedition equipment, stored last year at the outskirts of Bishkek, together with Almaz and NABU staff. It was half a truck load of tents, the yurt, research and kitchen equipment, spare tyres and car boxes, water and fuel canisters, cookers, gas bottles, benches & tables, etc., etc.
In the afternoon we were invited to a meal with everyone.
Over the next couple of days we will be checking the equipment, writing shopping lists, going shopping for food and other supplies, and updating paperwork. Tomorrow will be the end of Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month, a public holiday of big celebration here in Kyrgyzstan. So we are hoping to find some Chinese shops open tomorrow morning, which means group 1 will be on Chinese food for a couple of weeks 😉
Volodya, our scientist, arrived this morning, completing the team. We had a meeting with Amadeus in the afternoon, talking through butterfly, birds & petroglyph data collection procedures using the newly created apps. Volodya was quite excited about how easy & quick data collection and processing could be, if modern technology does work out in the field. We will have old-fashioned pen & paper versions as back-ups too.
Tonight Emma kindly invited us to have dinner at her place. She cooked a delicious meal and made Phil & I eat an enormous amount of Tiramisu afterwards. In case any of you consider weight loss to be a possible side effect to the expedition, forget about it! 😉