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Dear friends and colleagues,
we say here that troubles never come alone.
In October 1999 I applied for a grant from the Jurassic Foundation,
together with Rubén Martinez of the University of Patagonia at Comodoro
Rivadavia, to search for dinosaurs in Chubut (Argentina). Also Alex
Kellner, Rio de Janeiro, was in the team. In January we received 3600 US$.
I had immediately some troubles with the banks because of the check
(remember, I live in Italy) and I loose about 200 US$ of mine.
The field work was programmed for November 2000. In September I was
informed by Rubén Martinez that a new interpretation of an old Provincial
laws did not allow us to do field work in November. Then, when? He told us
"Quien sabe?" This means "never" in South America.
But Rubén gave his OK in the use of the money for another project (without
him). Therefore, Kellner and I arranged a new (good, we think)project in
Rio Negro, always in Patagonia, with Jorge Calvo and asked the J.F. for the
permission of using the funds for the new project.
Yesterday I received from Philip Currie a letter dated 00.12.06:
"Dear Fabio, finally the board members have discussed the possibility of
you changing the project you received funding for. However, the conclusion
is that the grant given to you was for a specific project, and the board
members are not willing to change that. That means you will have to pay
money back to the Jurassic Foundation and apply again for the new project.
Please make the funds payable to the Jurassic Foundation and forward it to us.
I apologize for any inconvenience this will cause you.
Philip J. Currie"
Right. This is a regular procedure and I would have no problems to do so if
a U.S. citizen. However, because of the exchange from US$ into Italian
lira, done authomatically by my bank (they said this is the normal
procedure), and the successive dramatic increase of the exchange rate of
US$, now the money the J.F. sent me is not the corresponding of 3.600 US$
but it is less (about 300 US$ less)and I do not have money to cover the
whole amount of 3.600 US$ at the present exchange rate: actually, I do not
have a remunerated position in the Museum of Monfalcone, and at present I
do not have even a true job (I finished my postdoc 3 years ago and I hoped
I could become an university researcher, with my 40 scientific
pubblications....). A nice Christmas gift.
The Jurassic Foundation is right, but this is the end of my dinosaur
I write this just because a word of comfort from you might soothe my
In any case, I thank you for reading this message.
Merry Christmas and happy new year
Fabio M. Dalla Vecchia