A Nobel Prize For Footloose Forester






DATE:                              1 April 92

REPLY TO ATTN OF:           Dick Pellek, REDSO/ESA Natural Resources Advisor

SUBJECT:                         Trip Report, 15-31 March 92

TO:                                  Fred C. Fischer, D/REDSO/ESA

THRU:                              Richard J. Edwards, S/REDSO/ESA/ANR


During the period 15-31 March 92, Natural Resources Policy Advisor (NR/PA) Richard Pellek conducted an extended tour within and outside of the REDSO/ESA region. The first stop on the tour was to the Ruhengeri region of Rwanda where the NR/PA administered the third of a scheduled four-part immunization series of injections of selected silverback gorillas that reside in the Volcanoes National Park. The objective of the USAID-sponsored immunization program is to reduce the libido levels of adult male silverbacks which have been making amorous advances toward female European tourists who frequent the park.

The NR/PA then continued on to Tanzania for a four day period of annual leave which commenced with the first-ever barefoot ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro, and which earned him a place in the Guinness Book of Records. Following the descent of Kilimanjaro by hang glider, the NR/PA proceeded by road and airline connections to Oslo to receive the 1991 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for pioneering work on a libido-reducing vaccine used in primate behavior, first begun in 1987. Upon return from Oslo, the NR/PA then continued on by aircraft from Dar-es-Salaam to Malawi to assist USAID/Lilongwe in the eradication of Malawi Wowee, a potent variety of Cannibis sativa which has been causing great embarrassment to the scientific community. Ever since it was introduced into the agroforestry systems of Malawi, the popularity of Cannibis has grown and has attracted the unwanted attention of agricultural economists because of its 7.5/1 benefit-cost ratio and an economic windfall to farmers.

After debriefing the USAID/Lilongwe staff, the NR/PA continued on toward Botswana to conduct an environmental assessment of elephant habitat in the vicinity of Chobe National Park but was delayed when his chartered plane crashed. As the only survivor, the NR/PA had a brief encounter with another primate species, namely RENAMO guerillas, who captured the NR/PA in order to relieve him of his possessions. Barefoot again! It took a hasty escape and dead reckoning for three days before the NR/PA emerged from the jungles of Mozambique to cross the border into Botswana. The NR/PA requests a per diem allowance sufficient to cover miscellaneous expenses (new shoes, trousers, etc.) in lieu of hotel receipts during the three days in the jungle.



The original MEMO above was submitted 1 April 1992, and was discussed during a staff meeting a few days later.  The Footloose Forester lamented than nobody even offered to buy him a beer for winning a Nobel Prize. Oh well, those IN boxes do tend to get backlogged.


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