We have been waiting literally all day for things to get going here in Durban at COP17, as talks press on through Saturday.
There's been a lot of downtime for us observers, as the Ministers and decisionmakers talk behind closed doors, trying to hash out a deal that will extend the Kyoto Protocol after 2012.
Things were supposed to kick off this morning at 10am, when the informal stocktaking plenary was set to take place. (This event brings all parties together to decide who supports the deal and try to reach consensus.) The plenary was first pushed back to 1:30pm, then 5pm, and now we are waiting for things to start at 6:45 local time.
Just three of our team members remain, as everyone else had expected this thing to end on Friday night--or at least the traditional Saturday early morning. Instead, facing the prospect of many hours of plenaries that have yet to begin, we have accepted that we may be here again for another very late night.
Delegates look haggard and forlorn as we pass in the hallways, some going off just a handful of hours' sleep in the last few days.
From our campout upstairs in the bloggers' loft, we occasionally hear the tinkle of piano music from below. The South African hosts have generously, and perhaps accidentally, left a nice baby grand in an open lobby area.
The youth organizations in attendance, when they are not Occupying the COP, have had to find ways to continue the struggle while keeping it pleasant.
This has meant rewriting popular songs to get intheir two cents out about the complicated and seemingly endlless negotiation process.
A few days ago we caught them singing a rewrite about how much they love the Kyoto Protocol (see above). Last night, they rewrote, "I Will Survive" and received an ovation when their performance was through.
Sadly, we're now stuck here in the massive plenary hall, just waiting, with nary a piano in sight.