The cold nights have dissipated, leaving cool evenings and hot, dry days. The climate is almost perfect, except the dryness of the air is shedding the skin from my previous tan faster than I can moisten it.
This workshop is very positive and solution-focused, facilitated by Matt, one of our senior managers. One of our goals is to contribute strong ideas and directions for our overall new global strategy, which will be produced this year. In an organisation like ours, it's a logistically complicated but critical step to gather inputs into this process from those not based at head office. We probably do better than most at having a global outlook, but we will fail if we don't listen to those working to combat illegal mining that destroys gorilla habitat in the DRC or those dealing with encroachment in Guinea's last tract of primary forest.
We had a game drive and sundowners as a team activity and saw giraffe, hartebeest, warthog and both black and white rhino. Many colleagues from West Africa have never seen savanna wildlife like this. The Conservancy holds East Africa's largest black rhino population, with over 100, which is critical for its future survival. There are some poignant memorials to individuals poached on occasion stretching back to the 1990s and nowadays the Conservancy employs the most sophisticated intelligence on the market to limit rhino poaching incidents to almost zero. There are also southern white rhinos here, outside of their natural range, but in an increasingly unnatural world, it's valuable to keep a feeder population in case numbers elsewhere plummet. My colleague Rob, who has had a long career in rhino conservation, told me of various bush escapades, as we drank beer on the plain.
The highlight of the drive was coming across a lion kill where two males were slumbering, sated by the remains of a nearby buffalo carcass. Our presence didn't interest them in the slightest. They were far too full of meat to care.
I'm mindful of my looming funding proposal deadline, which I'm working on around the fringes of the meetings, whenever the generator allows light. It shuts off at 11pm, and I made it out of the shower with ten seconds to spare.