The sourdough starter was indeed alive. I've started using it to make sourdough biscuits fairly regularly. These make for a handy snack, but should probably not eat quite as many as I have been. My success making actual bread hasn't been that great. I also made sourdough pancakes but I have found that I didn't like the flavor much. So I'll keep working on my bread skills. I do have Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice, Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Bread, Nancy Silverton's Breads from the La Brea Bakery, and the King Arthur Flour cookbooks, so have plenty of recipes to work my way through.
The first quarter at my new job has flown past. I seem to have caught on to how the job works. The job remains fun and the people are good. I spent a couple days in Arusha, Tanzania for a workshop to develop and enhance regional disease surveillance networks. Turns out that the Arusha area is where the John Wayne movie Hatari! was filmed. Unfortunately we arrived and departed in the dark so I didn't get to see any of the countryside. I only saw the hotel grounds.