Santa Claus’s many incarnations…

Hey Santa, where's your PPE?

While the majority of us are enjoying the holidays, reuniting with family and friends, dining, sharing gifts and general Christmas cheer, there are some folks who just keep on working.  That’s right, working on Christmas.  It is these fine folks who make the holidays possible, allowing us to leave work and responsibility behind for a few days and take a break.  Whether they are firemen, cops, jailers, doctors, nurses, grocers, that guy at the wine shop, Walmart employees, telemarketers, bloggers, and writers, these folks get things done on Christmas.  They are all Santa Claus.

For the HALI team, our Santa Claus is Joseph Malakalinga, lab technician at the Sokoine University of Agriculture.  This Christmas eve when Santa is shimmying down your chimney to eat your cookies and drop some loot under your tree, our Santa Joseph will be jingling a large key ring, shimmying into our container lab, and dropping some data points on our lab freezer temperature logs.  Why?  Because the holiday season is just lovely, unless you get a panicky alert from a lab manager about a cold chain meltdown and loose your entire sample archive.  Thankfully, Santa Joseph will give HALI the gift of sample stewardship, shepherding our freezers and liquid nitrogen supply (Morogoro snow) through the season and into the New Year.  Maybe he’ll even read them the Night Before Christmas or drop an orange in their lab stockings.

A toast to you, Santa Joseph, you win my Christmas MVP award for 2011. And Happy Holidays from the HALI team, may your fridges and freezers avoid failure, and your own Santa Clauses spread the Christmas cheer…

Update: Ally Kitime, our excellent lab manager at SUA, has also been shimmying into the lab to check on the cold chain over the holidays.  As always, our operations wouldn’t be successful without Baba Ally.  Asante sana Kitime and Happy New Year!

Joseph (on the right) and his sleigh...

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