Disappointing day today. We were hoping to collect in the mount Kilimanjaro Catchment Forest Reserve, outside the boundaries of the Kilimanjaro National Park. My research permit does not cover collecting in National Parks – to do that I should have applied for a different permit several months ago. We drove all the way to Kilimanjaro and found out that the boundaries of the National Park have been moved to include the lower forests, in order to give better protection to all the ecosystems, as the rules regarding National Parks are a much stricter. We returned to Arusha and spent some time processing our earlier collections. All the plants pressed between newspapers need to become completely dry, and we brought a special plant dryer with us to do this.
Plant dryer built by Frank. Jelly fuel is burned in a small stove underneath the box, and hot air rises through the newspapers containing specimens. Everything is covered in a blanket to keep the heat inside. David is standing next to the dryer; he has to add more fuel every 3 hours at night.