In Toronto

I arrived in Toronto around 10:00 p.m.. After some waiting time it turned out that my second bag did not land in Toronto and that although I had checked in more than 2.5 hours before departure in Edmonton. The bag was supposed to arrive the next evening. We drove home to Hamilton to Peter deSouza and stopped at an A&W on the way to get something to eat.

The next day after breakfast we went straight to the convention. There I could check in at the hotel in the morning and move into my room. So I could make the last corrections at my lectures. We also tried to search for my luggage at the airline, but that was largely unsuccessful. Allegedly my bag should arrive with the next plane from Edmonton and we would be informed immediately. Well, as was to be expected, nobody contacted us and nobody responded to our calls. Since a long weekend was approaching in Toronto, it was to be feared that I could see my bag again only on the return journey….

After all, the CAOAC organizers really made every effort to create a great evening. First there was a Pizzaparty, and after the meal, we speakers were there for the participants then on a panel for question and answer. Afterwards we were pleased to take turns sitting at the tables with the participants and talking to everyone. What at first sounded very stiff and annoying turned out to be a great idea and we all had a lot of fun together. Afterwards we went to the usual hospitality suite where we ended the evening with beer and high-proof…

On Saturday I was the second one to hold my first lecture, and that was also my favourite topic – the Rio Xingu in Brazil. Due to the environmental problems there, including the Belo-Monte dam, the title was “Rio Xingu – a lost paradise?”. Afterwards, of course, there was also the opportunity to ask questions, which the audience also did. Later I finally had the chance to drive with Peter to the airport again and to continue my search for my lost bag. Unfortunately I couldn’t find anyone at the Lost&Found counter of the airline, but luckily people from other airlines were still working there and so I got the private mobile phone number of an employee who could actually help us. So we found out that my bag had flown to Winnipeg instead of Toronto, but has now arrived in Toronto. Since the lady was sitting in Winnipeg, she couldn’t give us the bag herself, but talked to a colleague in Toronto who was supposed to hand it over to us. She promised us that this would happen in the next hour – but even after 80 minutes nothing happened. So we called her again. It then turned out that her colleague simply did not feel like it. We had to go back to the convention because I still had to give my second talk. It was about “Perú – Expeditions in the amazonian lowlands“. At the end of the lecture Peter stood suddenly with me and informed me that he had again contact to the airline, and they wanted to bring now the bag in the next hour by taxi. And indeed, after a good 90 minutes the bag was finally there.

In the evening at the big dinner I was even allowed to present my art prints. The pictures really inspired the people, and I could tell you that they will soon be available in Canada at Spencer Jack aka aFISHionados. But the evening ended quite early for me, because a cold had really caught me.