Summary of the 2nd International Meeting

This year, the GWG has been invited by the French regional group, L' Associacion France Vivipares and L' Aquaclub Trouville to come to Pont L' Eveque, a small town in the Normandy, famous for its cheese, its cidre and of course its Calvados. Together with a green landscape with beautiful creeks and lakes and medievally seeming houses, the place for our 2nd International Meeting seemed to be more than great, and it was indeed! 

The participants arrival has been fixed with Friday, the 7th of October. Unfortunately, the employees of the railway company started a strike spontaneously and it had been a bit difficult to come to Pont L' Eveque for the guests coming by train or plane. But thanks to the efforts of Alain Grioche, who took all the people several times by car from the nearby-town Lisieux, we arrived all well in the province of Calvados.

The first way had been to the Poissonerie, a former fish-market, where the local Aquarium club organized an exhibition, and where the GWG had been invited to be part of and to organize the biggest Goodeid exhibtion ever. So, before going to our hotel, or to the Mongolian yourtes, where some of the guests had really funny nights, we released our fish into the exhibition tanks. Rather soon, we had filled more than 50 tanks with Goodeids and no end in sight... Meanwhile, while waiting for the last guests to arrive, some of us had been taken to a local producer of Calvados, which had been a very "spiritual" event. By the way, Calavdos has been a very, very tasty company for our next days. In the later afternoon, most of us had the honour to visit the Aquaclub in Trouville, a club, which consigned a very deep impression to us. Not only the high number of very good tanks (many of them showing Goodeids), that showed in an impressive manner the knowledge and ability of the members, but also the unusual tanks made of wood(!) had been absolutely worth to go there. 

In the evening, all members of the GWG had been taken to dinner. We were sitting and talking in different languages, and looking around us 40 or 50 people, there could be counted 14 nations, being all part of one family. This feeling of being at home and being part of a family, has been a warm company for these cool days in France. 

After a warm night in the hotel room, or a cool one in a mongolian tent, the exhibition has been opened on Saturday, the 8th. In the end, there had been more than 300 tanks, a lot filled with Guppies and other Poecilids, with Killis, Cichlids, and finally nearly 70 with Goodeids, presenting even so rare species as Allodontichthys polylepis, Allotoca goslinei and meeki, Alloophorus robustus, Skiffia lermae and francesae, and nearly all known populations of Characodon audax and lateralis.

At 9.30, we started our meeting with the welcome speeches of Jacques Sabatier, president of L' Associacion France Vivipares and head of L' Aquaclub Trouville and Michael Koeck from the GWG. The time before lunch has been reserved for the speeches of Kees de Jong, former president of Poecilia Nederland and one of the best breeders of Goodeids in the world with his speech: Goodeids, an overview. He has been followed by the head of the Aqualab in Morelia, Omar Domínguez Domínguez. He talked about the History of the Fish Ark Project and about new results of the scientific work in the university. After lunch, Michael Tobler, born in Switzerland but living oin Oklahoma shocked us with his speech about the Vanishing of Characodon. Finally, Michael Koeck from the Haus des Meeres, Vienna, talked about the possibility of keeping Goodeids outdoors in summer. 

After the very expected exchanges of the brought along Goodeids (There had been really a lot!), and a short break, we started the Roundtables for GWG members. After the Roundtables, we had an excellent dinner in the exhibition hall, giving us the whole taste of the Normandy, including mussels, duck, Calavados, apple cake and cheese. The night brought us some very interesting meetings with a white rabbit, and some of us will never forget about a certain "Macho Latino"  - please forgive me to keep these things as a secret...

Sunday brought us the auction of the exhibited fish, and gave us the possibility to get some of them. Then there came the sadest time of the Meeting, when we had to say Good bye to each other and finish for leaving, but not without promissing to meet each other again next year, either in Diemelsee-Adorf (Germany) or Vienna (Austria). But for everybody participating, it was clear, that it would be nearly impossible to surpass this gone Meeting.