2nd Entry

Posted by Sean Chedda at Sep 28, 2015 12:24 PM |
This first month at the UNEP/CEP office served as a smooth introduction to the work of a Communications Officer in the setting of an IGO. The translation of the IGM Report is providing me with a better understanding of this complex programme as well as a glimpse of the international dynamics it involves and of the challenges ahead.

These past weeks, the whole team has been mainly busy preparing for CEP’s and CReW’s participation in the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) Conference and Exhibition, being held in Miami.

For the occasion, my colleagues and I engaged in the conceptualization of different promotional materials, which involved, amongst other things, continuous follow up with suppliers and important doses of creative thinking.  

While helping my colleagues prepare for the conference and exhibition, I ended up learning a few things about wastewater management, a critical environmental issue, particularly in the Caribbean islands. Engaging with that issue helped me to develop a better understanding of the worldwide challenges facing us at the international level with respect to wastewater management.

I am excited to find out what September holds in store for me, since new exciting projects seem to be lining up in the fall!

First month in Kingston, Jamaica

My first impressions were right. It’s hard not to get quickly infatuated with this mystical, yet troubled place.

I’ve grown fond of the country and the city I’ve been living in for now a little more than a month. Whereas the smallest things brighten up my daily routine, they’re also a constant reminder that I’m pretty far away from home. And I love almost everything about it- “Almost”.

People enthusiastically singing to every song on the radio – an eclectic mix of Celine Dion, dancehall, reggae, and Bob Marley’s anthems – be it in public transportation, taxis or in line at the supermarket; the friendly and laid back attitude of Jamaicans; the hilly scenery and pastel sunsets; the colorful and the restless downtown food market almost make you forget about the numerous challenges Jamaica, and the Jamaicans still face every day.

Challenges

  • The secluded “uptown” Kingston sometimes makes me feel isolated. I have started missing small things, such as a lively neighborhood life, taking a casual solitary stroll and riding my bicycle everywhere.
  • When I moved to Jamaica, one of the first things that struck me was what appeared to be a lack of environmental consciousness, especially with regards to having a culture of disposability. It is still quite frustrating to witness the ubiquity of disposable materials, from the shelves of the supermarket filled with prepackaged goods, to the streets littered with trash including the scarcity of public trash disposal in certain areas and the lack of wide scale recycling bin disposals.

Lessons Learned

  • When dealing with suppliers on a deadline, perseverance is key!
  • I have also learnt more about the art of diplomacy.

Tip to future interns:Do not underestimate the importance of having room mates in Kingston! In addition to never feeling lonely, you can do everything together as it is often not recommended that you don’t do certain activities by yourself).