The main event for the month of June was the Second LBS STAC Meeting in Nicaragua which was hosted by UNEP CEP. During this past month, I supported the AMEP staff who worked very hard in organizing this meeting. I have to thank my supervisor and the other coworkers, because they gave me the opportunity to not only work at this meeting (i.e. logistics and facilitating communication) but I was able to attend the technical presentations and several discussions in order to gain an understanding of the significance o f these types of meetings. It was very interesting to see in person how governments and international organizations cooperate in order to progress towards the implementation of protocols and project plans. In this regard, I would add that the success of the meeting was based significantly on the committed and hardworking AMEP staff who was dedicated to meeting deadlines and accomplishing tasks.
After the meeting, I continued working in the office doing my assigned duties and I spent this past weekend outside of Kingston in a nearby parish named Portland. Along with some friends, I took the mini bus which was packed beyond belief, for a journey that took almost two hours. While I had thought the bus was full, the driver kept picking up people on the road and they willingly got on the bus only to stand near the bus door for the long ride. I don’t think that sitting down pressed against everyone was very comfortable, but I don’t imagine standing up and holding onto the rails of the bus as it swings violently from side to side is any better.
After such an interesting experience we were able to spend our weekend relaxing at the beach and eating nice food. However, our hotel lady made us food, and we didn’t ask the price because we figured, how bad could it be? But it was terrible. I bought a lobster at the beach for $1000 Jamaican dollars, and a vegetarian meal made by some lady at the hotel cost our group of three $11 US dollars EACH! Oh well. Lesson learned.
Another lesson I learned the hard way this week was NEVER forget to put sunscreen on your face.
The major challenge I faced was coming back from a lovely weekend in Portland. In a perfect world, the UNEP office would be located in Portland.