France: The Alps in late summer

As a passionate skier I know the Alps from the perspective of a ski lift and I tend to judge the different locations by the quality and length of the ski slopes.

From that perspective, it is easy to forget that the Alps (not only on the French side, for that matter) are a fantastic all year-round holiday destination. When the skiers are gone, which is quite late, given the nearly permanent snowcap on the glaciers, there come the hikers and bikers. But things quieten down in the early autumn, when hikers are back at their desks and skiers haven’t arrived yet. That’s when we choose to spend a week in the French Alps.

Continue reading

Tanzania: from field to fork – the journey of food


The prestigious Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) is located in a small town of Morogoro, in the agricultural region approximately 200 km west of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. That’s where I spend a week in late March running a workshop and visiting project partners. 

One fine morning I look out of the window of my hotel at the misty Uluguru mountains that the Morogoro area is famous for and that’s when it hits me: I’m visiting a university of agriculture based in the middle of Tanzania’s main food growing region, I work on an agricultural research programme, and yet my practical knowledge of the subject matter is limited to growing carrots in my back garden. 

Continue reading