Here I am hiking and taking in the views at Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
Today’s post comes to us from a guest blogger who has written for us before: Sulav Paudel. Paudel is the Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab program coordinator at iDE-Nepal, an NGO in Nepal and a partner organization with our Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab. Paudel has a Master’s degree in entomology and international agriculture from Penn State. He has worked and studied in Brazil, Bangladesh, and Russia. He currently lives and works in Kathmandu.
Long ago, I caught the travel bug and have since spent years compiling a bucket list of dream destinations. Surprisingly, Bhutan never made the list. Perhaps my perception had been colored by stories of refugees. Maybe I had never learned enough about the area to cultivate an interest.
But when my career presented the opportunity to make the trip, I took some time to learn about Bhutanese culture. That’s when my interest was ignited. Eventually, I was so curious that I couldn’t wait to venture into the “Land of Thunder Dragon,” a name honoring local mythology, patriotism and leadership. I was more excited for this trip than I had been for any trip in recent memory. Bhutan did not disappoint. Although the recall of my memories may not do the trip justice, I will try to break down for you the most noteworthy aspects of this rich culture.
Here we stand on the dock, capturing a quick family pic to commemorate the trip.
Today’s post comes to us from Kendall Livick, who is temporarily stepping in as Communications Coordinator for the Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab.
In looking toward fall and bidding warm weather adieu, I long for long lost remnants of beach days. This year’s family beach trip was different from past years. Being a temporary employee at the IPM Innovation Lab and filling my brain with knowledge on agriculture and entomology has changed my worldview. Through my brand-new IPM lens, I viewed sand crabs and farmers markets in a way I never have before.
But that’s not the only reason this year’s trip was special. This occasion marked a family event taking place before several new milestones. It was the last beach trip before the arrival of my first baby and my parents’ first grandchild, and it was my youngest sister’s last family vacation before the coming of age experience of college. How different will life be on future beach trips? That I can’t know. What I’ve learned, though, is that oftentimes new experiences color our perceptions.
The future looks bright from where I stand…or crouch, rather. Cattle managers hold their hands high above their heads as a sign of pride in being cattle herders.
Today’s post comes to us from Martin Sebit, a Ph.D. student within Agricultural Leadership and Community Education at Virginia Tech. He is also a lecturer of Animal Breeding and Dairy Production and Technology in South Sudan, at the University of Juba. His dissertation in progress is entitled “Cattle Raiding and Strategies to Mitigate it.”
There’s only one problem standing in the way of progress in this great country – cattle. Everywhere we look, we see cows, cows and more cows.
As I move around the capital city of Juba, my journey is constantly impeded by cattle. They block me as I attempt to cross the street. They take up residence in my neighborhood. They even use graveyards as their own personal grazing fields. Don’t get me wrong. Some animal lovers enjoy living among cattle. Others are fed up. The cattle system is coming under heavy public criticism and scrutiny. Continue reading