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Problem w/ PH not completing paperwork to ship

This is a discussion on Problem w/ PH not completing paperwork to ship within the Hunting Africa forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; I have a problem with my PH not completing the paperwork to ship from the taxidermist in Bulawayo to the ...

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    Default Problem w/ PH not completing paperwork to ship

    I have a problem with my PH not completing the paperwork to ship from the taxidermist in Bulawayo to the US. Items have been at Taxidermy Enterprises for a year now. It isn't surprising really given all the other problems I've had with this guy. But I'm trying to understand two things:

    1) What is his motivation at this point? All fees are paid. Trophies moved from the bush to the taxidermist. According to the taxidermist all they need from the PH are docs. Any insight as to his motivation would be interesting to hear.

    2) What is my recourse? My US based booking agent (Arnold Payne, Impala African Safaris, Phoenix, AZ) has admitted that he has no control or leverage with the PH. I have Mr. Tawanda Chipere from Zim Parks and Wildlife looking into it but have not heard anything. Zim PH and Guide Assoc. haven’t responded. Waiting on SCI-South Africa and SCI-USA for some direction. Am I missing anything? Hammer or lever, I'm open to ideas at this point.

    PH in question is
    Col. Watson Tshipa
    Zimbabwe Safari Company
    aka Pasat Safaris Pvt Ltd
    Bulawayo

    Hunted near Dete off the A-8 in the Gwayi River area during Sept-Oct 2008 for buffalo and plains game.

    Any insight into actionable items would be greatly appreciated.

    Regards,

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    Default stuck

    88 views and no replies. Guess I'm stuck huh?

    E

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    Eric, I've actually been working on a post for you but did not get to finish it yet... soon to come!

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    Eric,

    Sorry to hear about your trophies.

    From what I've gathered from your post and reading your story on your Zimbabwe hunting safari on your website, things do not seem to be too promising... I do not want you to give up yet though as persistence might get your trophies back...

    I know that you have already taken a few steps and have contacted some local agencies here in the US as well as organizations in Zimbabwe, however here below are a few for your information just in case you missed trying one... Not all might be able to assist you with your issue as the PH or hunting outfit would have to be a member of that organization in order for them to have any sort of recourses or even be able to help you...


    Zimbabwe Professional Hunters & Guides Association (ZPHGA)
    Zimbabwe Professional Hunters & Guides Association (ZPHGA) is dedicated to maintain the highest standards of professionalism amongst their members and are committed to the long term management and utilization of wildlife. However it is important to mention that Zimbabwe's hunting outfitters, hunting guides, master hunting guides, bowhunting guides and professional hunters are not required to be members of ZPHGA to conduct hunting safaris. Click here to visit ZPHGA web site for more information regarding basic hunting laws and regulations and more.


    Safaris Operators Association of Zimbabwe (SOAZ)
    Safaris Operators Association of Zimbabwe (SOAZ) is an organization with members that range from touring, photographic excursions to hunting safaris operators. Click here to visit SOAZ web site for more information regarding basic hunting laws and regulations and more.

    Safari operators in Zimbabwe are required to be registered and licenced by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority. Ask for your operator's number when booking your hunt and, if he does not have one, check his bona fides through SOAZ by emailing them at the following email address soaz@mweb.co.zw.

    Operators must hold a lease or agreement on a suitable concession with an approved quota of animals. They are responsible for the official paperwork and permits connected to the hunt.

    Bow and handgun hunting are permitted on an experimental basis, but require special permits. Black powder is legal provided the weapon complies with the requirements of the Third Schedule of the Firearms Act. This also applies to handguns.

    Hunting operators are required by law to provide the services of a Zimbabwe Licenced Professional Hunter to accompany foreign hunters in Zimbabwe. Licensing is undertaken by the National Parks & Wildlife Authority. Professional Hunters write a Learner Examination, and are then apprenticed to a fully-licenced Professional Hunter for two years. During this time they must pass a shooting test set by the Zimbabwe Shooting Federation and obtain an Advanced First Aid Certificate.

    They then attend a Proficiency Test in the field. Full Licence holders carry a plastic disc issued by the Parks Authority which shows their photograph, ID number and licence number. Learner Licence holders carry a paper licence with their details and a licence number.


    Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA)

    A hunt must be organized and carried out by a safari operator that is registered and licensed with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA). Safari operator are obliged by law to employ a licensed professional guide or professional hunter to accompany hunting clients into the bush. To visit Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority web site click here.

    Zimbabwe Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET)
    All operators in Zimbabwe must be registered and licensed with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) to be legal. Operators are responsible for obtaining the permits and supplying the necessary services such as camp accommodation, catering, trackers, skinners, vehicles and a Zimbabwe licensed and registered professional guide or professional hunter. To visit Zimbabwe Ministry of Environment and Tourism web site click here.

    Zimbabwe Government Online
    Welcome Zimbabwe's Web Portal

    Some valuable side info regarding Zimbabwe:
    Professional guides and professional hunters are required to have a valid license and be registered with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA). The full license is issued on a plastic identity card which includes the photograph of the holder, license number, date of issue, year for which the license is valid for and a stamped along with a signature from the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA). Those still in the training process carry paper licenses.


    African Professional Hunters Association (APHA)
    http://www.africanpha.org


    International Professional Hunters Association (IPHA)
    http://www.internationalprohunters.com

    More to come...

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    Default Bigger issue of PH licensing

    Jerome,

    Thank you for the well reasoned and detailed reply. I have approached many, but not all, of these organizations. But will try to reach out to the rest soon.

    You raise a much larger point in your reply regarding PH licensing. 9 of my 10 days hunting were spent without a PH. Col. Tshipa had overbooked and was off on an elephant hunt in a different area while I spent time hunting with his son. His son is a very nice person but not a licensed PH and not a very good buffalo hunter either! I later learned that he had learned his skills on an anti-poaching unit and his current role, when not filling in for his father, was primarily to drive the truck. There is no remedy or recourse for this. It happened and it was bad.

    But I do want to get this paperwork thing behind me and start these trophies on their way to the states. My local SCI chapter is applying pressure to the booking agent. But he has already admitted to me that there is little he can do. And I have lost trust in him long ago.

    We hunted primarily on a concession named Camp Selous in Gwayi. The camp director is a Member of Parliament and ran a good camp. I reached out to him today in an effort to see if he can apply any leverage to Col. Watson. They seemed to have a deeper financial relationship then just camp director and PH. But he was only ever fair and reasonable with me and I do not want to condemn either him or Camp Selous.

    Thank you again. Any additional thoughts or comments are welcome on post or direct to my e-mail below.

    Regards,

    Eric

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    Eric,

    I do not believe that your PH Col. Watson Tshipa from Zimbabwe Safari Company (aka as Pasat Safaris Pvt Ltd) in Bulawayo has any agenda or motivation behind any of this since he got paid... A few questions though come to mind. Are you still in contact with him? Did you get any explanation from him? Since your return, have you heard anything about his reputation or his standing in the hunting industry? From reading your story I must say that it feels that his practices do not seem very legitimate, many things could have happened there in regards to the permits for your trophies!

    Has Taxidermy Enterprises been in contact with him? Do they know him? Have they worked with him in the past, what are they telling you?

    You have already taken some appropriate steps though it is regrettable that you have not received any replies from the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters & Guides Association (ZPHGA). Even if PH Col. Watson Tshipa or his safari company was not a member of ZPHGA, I would have expected a courtesy reply on their part...

    What really concerns me in all of this is, is your booking agent Arnold Payne from Impala African Safaris in Phoenix AZ blatantly admitting that he has no control or leverage with the PH. Did Arnold Payne in any way tried to assist you in the recovery of your trophies? What steps has the agent taken, and what has he done on your behalf even if he has no leverage, did he copy you on any of his correspondence? How long has he been sending his clients to him in Zimbabwe? So many questions come to mind... If he is sending you to him in the first place, he should have good enough of a relationship with the outfit/PH to at least get an honest answer back... has he been able to reach the PH? What was said?

    It seems that this hunting agency is not doing right by you as a client, I am curious to hear more on this...


    I do not know Col. Watson Tshipa or the Zimbabwe Safari Company but as your trophies have already been at Taxidermy Enterprises for a year now, I regret to say but the chances to get this matter rectified at this point is very slim in my opinion. You should pursue this matter further and if you don't receive a reply in a timely manner from someone I would get back to it and not wait...

    I am not finished, but it will have to wait.

    Good luck with everything! Keep us posted...

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    Wow Western Expedition that sounds like a nightmare situation from beginning to end! I think you should seriously look at the agent that you used, since it seems like the problem really started with him recommending such a crummy outfitter and then no help afterwards. I personally would report him to the SCI if he is a member and see if you can get any justice there. This whole scene just doesn't seem right! I guess I think of using agents as a way of finding a top notch outfitter because they have done the research for you and you are paying him for that, also because they are a buffer for you and have a relationship with the outfitter where they hopefully have some pull and mutual respect. I am so sorry to hear stories like this, what a shame to have such an unfortunate experience, but hopefully you do maintain some good memories... I mean it is hunting in Africa afterall!

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    Eric, Is your Zim outfitter or agent attending any of the upcoming shows?

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    Eric,

    Very sorry to hear about your problems. My gut feeling from what has been said is that there is obviously some questions as to the legitimacy of the operation. Just the method in which your hunt was conducted certainly raises a flag and in fact left you in a bad position, both operationally and legally.

    The taxidermist that I deal with locally here at home has received two trophy shipments from hunters this past fall that took close to a year and a half of wrangling before they finally hit Canada. To make matters worse, close to ninety percent of the hides and capes in the two shipments had spoiled.

    Please keep after this and as Jerome mentioned in his well thought out posts, do not wait if a response does not come in a timely fashion, hit them again. I would also mention that your situation and the lack of support or response by the various government bodies and associations in Zimbabwe will be forwarded to SCI and other international hunting/conservation organizations for their consideration.

    Safari Chick,

    Your comments about booking agents/hunting consultants is indeed how things should be. Unfortunately it seems that just about every hunter who returns from Africa these days tries to set themselves up as a booking agent and they are out there by the thousands. At a recent SCI chapter banquet I attended there were at least half a dozen people walking around that were not only booking agents, they were reportedly the 'exclusive' agents for a number of operators.

    Unfortunately the internet makes it very easy for people to set things up to operate as agents and there are thousands of operators looking for hunters and soliciting the services of booking agents. In many cases agents are offering hunts for literally hundreds of operators that they have no personal knowledge of.

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    Default Thanks

    Thank you all for the posts and the concern. I will try to address all the questions but please forgive me if I miss anything.

    My first experience with Impala African Safaris was in 2006 at the Sportsman’s Exposition in Phoenix. I was collecting information on safari trying to formulate a plan. I met Arnold Payne at the Expo a second time in 2007. He is a native of Zim who now lives in the states and was marketing the services of a recognizable PH (a prior SCI PH of the Year). I have had very good experience with small outfitters and decided to give him a chance. Over the next year we had he and his family over for dinner several times and they reciprocated. Our kids played well together and I gave him my deposit to hunt buffalo in the Zambezi River Valley.

    Early in 2008 things started to get slippery. The big name PH was having some trouble scheduling. I was pitched the idea of hunting areas in the south rather then the Zambezi due to the PH’s familiarity with the area and I reluctantly agreed. Long story short we never do get a date set with this PH and get redirected to a different PH they are marketing now. Sadly, I also later learn that the big name PH was dealing with a “repatriation” issue with local politicians and was trying to keep hold of his property in the south. Very sadly, he put a lion he was raising in a house they were trying to repatriate to keep the politicians at bay and the lion lunged and bit his daughter in the head. Many of you will know who I’m talking about.

    So by this time I’m nervous and annoyed but still want to go. It is summer of 2008 now and still no date booked. My requirements when signing the contract were to be in the Zambezi and to hunt two buffalo. Well, now I learn from Arnold that they can’t or won’t be able to come up with a second tag if we head to the Zambezi. But if I’d consider the Gwayi River Valley they can produce two buffalo tags, great hunting, hidden treasure, yada, yada. He won’t refund my deposit at this point and I’m a fool and agree.

    Then, one week before I am to leave, Arnold calls to tell me that Col. Tshipa has contracted malaria (which I later learn is a lie) and that he is working to put me in yet another area down around Bulawayo. No buffalo permit there so I’ll need to split a 10-day hunt between Bulawayo for plains game and the Matetsi in the north for buffalo with at least one day lost in travel. I say no way and request that he refund my money. He says no way. A cancellation at this date means 100% loss. I’m in for about $10,000 at this stage. Furious and fearful I go.

    So, I’m a fool. Made bad decisions, didn’t research enough, lost leverage. Do a better job then me on your next hunt. I did file a negative hunt report with SCI but nothing ever came of it.

    Impala African Safaris (Impala African Safaris) will be at Reno (booth #2333), Dallas (booth #1848), and Houston (booth #624).

    All I really want now is to get the trophies back from Taxidermy Enterprises. They have been in regular contact with me via e-mail since January 2009 and have been exceedingly professional. They have tried to get in contact with Col. Tshipa but he is not responsive. They want the transaction to be completed as well but their hands are tied too.

    Arnold with Impala African Safaris has always been polite and insists that they are working on it but no progress is ever made. Perhaps he is still working on “Africa time”. I have a voice-mail from him though saying that they have lost control of the situation with Col. Tshipa and are no longer booking hunters with him. Nothing in writing but the voice-mail is saved. But he has no leverage with the Col. any longer if he isn’t booking new hunters with him so I have serious doubts that anything will happen on this front.

    Again, thank you all. I will update with any progress.

    Regards,

    Eric

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    Eric, Here are some further information regarding hunting in Zimbabwe.


    Zimbabwe Hunting Permits & Licenses
    Zimbabwe defines three categories of land where hunting is permitted; National Parks Safari Areas, Communal (tribal) Land and Alienated (private) Land. Hunting in Zimbabwe is on a sustainable use basis with quotas issued annually. Quotas for protected species such as Elephant, Crocodile (ranch Crocodile are exempt), Leopard and Cheetah are granted by CITES annually.

    The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) allocates quotas by species to each National Parks Safari Areas on an individual basis. Local District Councils allocates their own quotas by species to their Communal (tribal) Land on an individual basis. Landowners allocate their own quotas by species to their Alienated (private) Land on an individual basis.

    Your hunting license and permit will be applied for and obtained by your hunting safari operator well prior to your arrival, please check with your safari operator as to the current charges or if the cost of this paperwork is already included in the price of your hunt.

    The following is required for trophy hunting in Zimbabwe:
    - The government of Zimbabwe strictly controls the minimum fees that a safari operator can charge before trophies can be exported, thus to prevent undervaluing wildlife and limit the amount of money that safari operators can hide to the government.
    - A safari operator can set his prices above and beyond the government's set minimum fees.
    - Safari operators often sell hunts below the government's set minimum fees for trophies that are not exported.
    - There is no limit as to the number of species a hunter may harvest as long as the safari hunting operator has the hunting rights.
    - The hunting outfitter may impose their own guidelines as to the minimum number of days required to hunt certain species or combination of species.
    - Permits (TR2) must be issued prior to the hunt commencing, the TR2 permit must be completed in full by the safari operator. The TR2 permit is essentially an authority to hunt, a declaration of what was harvested during the hunt, a banking form and an export application permit.
    - Signed and stamped TR2 permits are issued by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) only.
    - Prior to the commencement of the safari, the hunter should look at the TR2 permit to verify that the professional hunter and safari operator listed on the TR2 permit are the ones that he will be hunting with.
    - The TR2 permit must be signed by the hunter and professional guide or professional hunter at the end of the hunting safari.
    - The hunter should make note of the TR2 permit serial number for future reference with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) should a problem occur during the exportation process of the trophies.
    - A separate permit must be issued for each individual hunting client.
    - A hunt must be organized and carried out by a safari operator that is registered and licensed.
    - A licensed and registered professional guide or professional hunter must conduct all hunting.

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    Default Update

    Thanks to everyone for the comments. Here is an update:

    Local SCI Chapter has applied pressure to the booking agent. The booking agent is local and he hopes to sell into the Chapter so I have some faith that this will help.

    SCI - South Africa. Linda Venter wrote me a very nice note. She can't help directly but did zero me in with someone at SCI - US who can.

    SCI - US. Bill McGrath, Assoc. Litigation Counsel, and I are corresponding.

    Zim Parks and Wildlife. Mr. Tawanda Chipere has written to say that he is taking up the matter and will be in touch with Mr. Tshipa.

    So... at least I've stirred up the hornets nest a bit. Will provide periodic updates.

    Eric

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    Default John Jackson III of Conservation Force

    Eric, You might also want to contact John Jackson III of Conservation Force at www.conservationforce.org, he is well known in the hunting industry and has a lot of resources and contacts... I don't know if he will be able to assist you directly however he might have a few pointers or advice for you.

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    Default UPDATE 01/10/2010

    I received a phone call from Arnold Payne with Impala African Safaris today. He has either seen or heard about the post and specifically mentioned it. Once again he requested that I NOT cooperate with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife on this matter. He admitted ceasing his relationship with Col. Watson Tshipa and Pasat Safaris in 1998 and not having any recent contact with him. But he offered that he knows of another way that the paperwork required to ship from Taxidermy Enterprises can be processed without either Col. Tshipa or Zimbabwe Parks if only he can be given some time to work things out. I couldn’t get any specifics, just a request for more time. Anyone have any idea what other remedy he has in mind?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Western Expedition View Post
    I received a phone call from Arnold Payne with Impala African Safaris today. He has either seen or heard about the post and specifically mentioned it. Once again he requested that I NOT cooperate with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife on this matter. He admitted ceasing his relationship with Col. Watson Tshipa and Pasat Safaris in 1998 and not having any recent contact with him. But he offered that he knows of another way that the paperwork required to ship from Taxidermy Enterprises can be processed without either Col. Tshipa or Zimbabwe Parks if only he can be given some time to work things out. I couldn’t get any specifics, just a request for more time. Anyone have any idea what other remedy he has in mind?
    First,sorry you are jambed up....

    Sounds to me he's trying to cover his ass,and he's affraid parks will look into his other dealings...throwing you under the bus.Maybe you are digging a little to close to home?

    From what I know of the system,from talking to PH's and from a customs importer you have to have parks sign off.

    I only did a short hunt in Zim to fill up a cancellation while I was already in SA.After I got back the process was so bungered up I said screw it and kept the photo's (I hunted when another hunter left early,and used his payed for days,I know a license was issued with my name so I was legal).I just didn't feel like another dip/pack/shipping bill among some other paperwork issue.

    Hope it works out,if your planning on shoulder mounts don't fret too much about the skins,if salted properly African hides can sit for years without being tanned.

    Best of luck

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    Thanks for your input Dinsdale.

    Eric, I do not know Arnold Payne from Impala African Safaris however I am glad to hear that he is now trying to find a solution to get your trophies back here. I am somewhat concerned by a couple of the comments from the conversation you had with him that you shared with us. Some of it sounds fishy and I would not want anything to come back to haunt you... Why the secrecy?

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    Eric
    "don't cooperate with Zim parks" This is what is called a big red flag and it is waving. I don't know the parties involved but I would be very careful. Make sure that all the i's have been dotted and the t's crossed. If there is a problem with the legitimacy of these trophies you do not want them to get here and it become your problem. Maybe it is simply a paperwork problem, but I would be very wary at this point. Good luck, but I hope that you took a lot of pictures, they may be the only things that you bring back from this hunt.
    TerryR

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    Default Accidental Poacher?

    Yes... red flags abound. That is part of why I am escalating at the moment. Late last year I read this article with great interest:

    Zimbabwe: Announcement from Dr. Mtsambiwa re temporary suspension of hunting permits on 2009/12/7
    We advise that the suspension was solely for the purpose of verifying the authenticity of the permits.

    There have been several allegation of illegal hunts taking place in the country using forged permits . This may result in clients not being able to export their trophies from Zimbabwe which in turn may discredit hunting in the country.

    As a result it was felt prudent that all permits used for hunting this season should have their authenticity verified, hence this exercise. In addition this exercise would put the Authority in a position were it can confidently comment on the legality or illegality of the hunts. All illegal hunts will then be published and perpetrators brought to book. Furthermore the current permit system will be reviewed to add more security features to reduce or avoid the use of forged permits.

    We advise clients that hunting in Zimbabwe has not been stopped but that potential clients should assist in the verification process. This can be done through our offices by contacting the Business Development Manager responsible for hunting who is Mr. Tawanda Chipere, available on tchipere@zimparks.co.zw or telephone +263 912 420 496 or + 263 4 792731 direct line.

    However as it stands right now all the permits that have been verified were found authentic such that we have not yet apprehended anybody. This exercise runs to the end of the year.

    Dr. M.Z. Mtsambiwa Director General
    Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority
    Cell: +263 11 870160, +263 912 217405
    Tel: +263-4-705344
    Fax: +263-4-790567
    Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority


    This article gave me some pause given the situation. Am I an accidental poacher? I had relied on both Arnold Payne with Impala African Safaris and Col. Watson Tshipa with Pasat Safaris upto this point and many things had gone wrong or not added up. So I began digging around a bit more.

    One of the hopes that I'm holding onto is that the Camp Director would not allow this. All my game was shot on a concession operated by Camp Selous in Dete. They have French ownership and are operated by Mr. Clifford Sibanda. He is a Minister of Parliament with the Zanu-PF party. Mr. Sibanda had a very well run outfit and I hope that he would not have allowed unauthorized activities like this to happen on a concession under his control. I have been trying to reach him.

    Hopefully my meeting with officials from Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife at SCI in Reno will be enlightening. Will keep everyone informed.

    Eric
    Last edited by Western Expedition; 01-13-2010 at 02:47 PM. Reason: bad grammar

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    Default Update January 17, 2010

    John Boretsky, Guides and Outfitters Liaison, with Safari Club International got in touch with me. He will be doing his part to assist. It is going to be a busy week in Reno.

    Eric

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    AfricaHunting.com is online now Jerome Philippe, Founder of AfricaHunting.com
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    Eric, I'm glad to hear that you are getting some support from the SCI.

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