Monday, March 19, 2007

A friend from Mozambique

Last week our associate from the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane arrived here at AHEAD Energy's headquarters, housed within the University of Rochester, to work with us for one month on a bio-fuel experiment (photos). I'm restricted from saying much more about the bio-fuel experiments, but I can say that projects in Mozambique are a major focus for AHEAD Energy.

Joao is a chemical engineer and lecturer at the state university in Maputo, Mozambique. He has come to Rochester to help us with some experiments on bio-fuels. He sits at the desk next to mine in our office, where we have a chance to chat throughout the work day about Mozambique, and America.

My supervisor MJ (CEO/President of AHEAD), who along with her husband Ben (founder/COB of AHEAD) sponsored Joao's trip, thought it would be kind to show Joao around Rochester. By now knowing my way around the relatively small, Upstate New York, city of Rochester and always willing to explore more, I offered to do the "showing." Joao is a pleasant and interesting person, so I looked forward to revisiting some of my favorite hang-outs with him.

As we made our way across town on foot, visiting High Falls and the historic mill sight responsible for Rochester at one time being called Flour City, stopping along the way at my favorite coffee shops, like SPOT Coffee and Java's Cafe, it became easy to see how much tourism Rochester has to offer. We could have spent the day at the Memorial Art Gallery and didn't even make it to the Rochester Museum & Science Center or the George Eastman House.

It was a sad day when we needed to say good bye to Joao. As we shook hands to part, he handed me a large bag, inside a heavy, pull-over shirt that he wore often while he was here, and of which I had favorably commented on. Ya', that's Joao!