The Mule

4:00 pm December 1, 2008
New York, NY

There are 1.8 million government employees in the United States and it feels like I talked to about 75% of them today! In preparation for my upcoming trip to Rwanda, I needed to find out if I could bring plant-derived materials back into the country for our experiments in the US. You know the signs, the warnings at JFK, LAX, and Tijuana alike. They are the leaflets and signage that prohibit you from taking a bite of that juicy and delicious variety of Chinese apple or Ecuadorian orange. “No plants, soils, animals can enter US territory.” Rather than do the ole sneaky thing, I am trying to figure out the channels to import the materials—the fibers, the pulp, etc. Overall, everyone at the Soil & Conservation Department, the JFK Port Department, the Bronx gynecologist’s office (wrong number), APHIS, CBP, and the USDA (especially Denise) has been very kind. Let’s see if I get any phone calls or emails with the correct verdict soon!

How long is that Plum Book President-elect Obama?