Dear Cichlid Friends,
It has been two months since I returned from Africa (Tanzania and Malawi). While there I was able to visit Nankoma Island and admire the work that Leon and his wife Ingrid had accomplished (with the aid of sometimes up to 200 local workers). The whole lodge complex should be finished by mid September after which Leon will start organizing his dive school and place the 200 new ANDs that have been ready for a while. It had been a huge task to build a kind of double lodge complex; one part for the luxury traveler and another for the dive school students. If you know someone who would be interested in obtaining a dive master certification and at the same time save the Malawi cichlids from overfishing, Camp Rock, the name of the new dive school, is the perfect place. For more information on the various programs see this website: Wamwai Adventures or contact Leon at leondup(at)hotmail.com.
I know that the diesel engine for the guards’ boat has arrived in Malawi and I had hoped to show you a photo, but Dimitri has been too much occupied with the many changes in Malawi after its president died suddenly, the free-floating Malawi Kwacha, and the global economic downturn. Since Leon and Ingrid have been on the island during the last nine months the illegal fishing has been drastically reduced. Last year the park guards made many arrests but during the last months of their patrols very few arrests have been made. As soon as the new diesel engine has been installed in their boat they can triple their frequency of patrols. African pace is slow but we are getting there!
On the donations side of the funds I have some excellent news: the BITCHes made a ton of money at the ACA convention in Indianapolis (great convention!) and donated a whopping $2500 to the funds! A good friend of mine, Dick Au, almost matched that with his personal gift to the fund! Thank you very much ladies, Dick! Many thanks to Andy Hudson of the Milwaukee Aquarium Society who's club launched in May 2012, together with Aqueon, a fund raiser to collect money for the Stuart M. Grant Cichlid Conservation Fund. When all the auctions had completed the grand total collected amounted to $1465.00! Thank you very much! THANKS TO YOU ALL!! Without your input and generosity many Malawi cichlid species would have no future existence.
THANKS TO YOU ALL!! Without your input and generosity many Malawi cichlid species would have no future existence.