Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Omo River 2005 crowd

Gary, Nick, Charles, Chris, Fred, Jonas, Robel, Zekarias, Danny (partially hidden), Eddie, Claude, Geoff and Roberto.
A group photo, taken by MartinZilka, a Slovakian photographer we met on the last night in Dus, who had preceded us by two days with his team of four.

So a short word about each of the team members as follows:

Gary - leader of the expedition, head of Remote Rivers, originally from California, now based at his hotel, Chez Maggie, in Madagascar. Veteran of many trips down the Omo.

Nick - Mr Tsetse fly man, world expert on the tsetse fly, from St Ives in Lincolnshire, been to Africa many many times, used to work at COPR (Centre for Overseas Pest Research) in London, so knows my Dad and many of his colleagues.

Chris - originally from Hull, Yorkshire, but been based in Africa for over 30 years, retired from his business as a quantity surveyor, lives in Nairobi

Jonas - from Jinka, main town of the Omo region, assistant truck driver, helps out the last two yeasr with the Omo expedition

Robel - born in Asmara, but moved to Addis as a child, works for Ethio Fauna Safaris, main contact for Gary in Ethiopia, playing a big part in arranging the local aspects of the trip

Zekarias - (younger) brother of Robel, studying Accountancy in Addis

Danny - based in Addis, also training to be a truck driver, wants to take over Robel's father's job, driving to and from Djibouti

Eddie - based in Colorado, where he spends most of the summer taking people out on rafting trips up the Grand Canyon, has been on the Omo River many times with Gary

Claude - colleague of Eddie's, based mainly in Costa Rica and, in the summer, Alaska, again taking clients on rafting trips, originally from Louisiana, an Omo debutant

Geoff - originally from Middlesborough, but lived in Leicester for many years, widely travelled in his job as technical and safety director of a construction company, and also making many trips in retirement

Roberto - from Guatemala, works with Eddie in Colorado, also first time on Omo River (I think), famed for his very loud calls

These are the very basic facts about each member of the expedition but, of course, each has their own personality and it must be said that, at least from our own perspective, it was a really good and sociable group.

There were four rafts and thirteen participants, so three rafts would carry an oarsman, a member of the crew and a guest, the other carrying another guest. We would rotate from day to day, and every day there would be other stories exchanged. Was fun.

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