Busy, Busy, Busy…

Whew, if today was anything, it was a nonstop whirli-gig of activity. Talk about being productive.

My day started with catching a taxi from my sisters house to go to work, which is about a ten minute ride, involving weaving through lanes (without signalling) and  somehow being avoided by the large amounts of motorcycles that are everywhere. I would bike, but the so called ‘bike lanes’ along Sathorn road are over taken by motorcycles….also I don’t want to die.

When I get to work I get assigned to research the different types of fish passages that are used with hydroelectric dams and their possible uses in South East Asia. After a morning of research, its easy. There is just not enough information about the different types of fresh water, migratory fish (fancy word being potamodromos)  that are in a lot of economically important rivers in the region. You might ask, what about fish passages that are used in the States ? All of those fish passages, which you might find along the Columbia River or any other river which is being dammed in the States, are engineered specifically for salmonid species or North American species. That being fish species  such as salmon or trout that are strong, hardy and very athletic, being able to jump and cross small barriers which make up a lot of fish ladders and fish passages in the United States. While this is all well and good for most of the fish species in North America, there just isn’t enough research being done about migratory riverine fish in South East Asia to properly engineer fish passages that would sustain the theorized migration patterns and still maintain adequate fisheries. After looking at an FAO report on the subject, the only place in Asia that has actually looked into studying the needs of fish passages for a specific region is Japan… it figures.  The other country which is damming up rivers like nobody’s business is China… but they don’t do fish passages. All I found referencing fisheries in those reports was a comment on sustaining fisheries in resulting reservoirs. Which isn’t something I necessarily agree with. Hydroelectric power offers a good source of energy with essentially no carbon emissions, however there are many consequences that really do need to be thought out before going ahead with building these dams.   More on this later…

This gets me to lunch, after-which  I head off to a meeting with my dad to meet up with a ‘crew’ of people to talk about going to MONGOLIA (!!!)

….But before I go further, I need to give some background. A horse vet that my family has known for ages, for privacy lets call her Dr. S., is currently doing research looking at the link between Thai ponies and Mongolian ponies. Somehow, this has turned into a project to document the cultural importance of Thai ponies to Thailand (and to draw attention to their welfare) while also documenting her research and welfare work…which is also being done at UC Davis ( small world huh ? ). My younger sister is interning with a filmmaker/editor in Bangkok who is going to be filming this now. My prime role is going to be horse person/ UC Davis Animal Science person and general gofer/bag carrier. There are worse things I could be doing…

…Anyways as a result of this meeting, I am now going on a trip to Korat up to the vets “Horse-pital” (I did not miss spell it) and then to visit a Thai family , where the father helps their autistic child through taking care of the Thai ponies that are in the area. It promises to me a really great experience, however due to the fact that I pack light and live with my older sister during the week, I had no horse clothes with me. As much as I would like to go out in the Thai heat for hours and hours… not my idea of a good time. After the meeting, I took a taxi all the way home to Nonthaburi to grab some changes of clothes for the trip up to Korat and to get a home cooked meal.

Tommorow will be an exciting day… taking off at 6:15 for an hour long commute to the office, then a three hour drive up to Korat, then going for another hour to talk with this Thai family. I will post how the day goes as soon as I can, till then, sawadee ka.


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