2nd Entry

Posted by andre at Jul 05, 2012 10:05 AM |
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A week ago, I had the opportunity to accompany NEPA’s Public Education Branch on one of their excursions. I gladly accepted the invitation and spent a day in lovely Ocho Rios at an environmental awareness exposition.


The day was a chance for the Agency to spread the word about a few initiatives through conventional and unconventional educational tools. Agency employees laid out the ubiquitous educational brochures and answered public questions with the expected adherence to departmental philosophy, but I also witnessed many innovative ways of presenting environmental issues to a largely uninformed public. There was a taste test of the invasive lionfish as part of the “Eat It to Beat It” campaign, a skit by local artists presenting the tragedy of diminishing biodiversity, and a concert by Jamaican musicians culminating in the performance of a song (strangely?) highlighting the necessity of planning changes in the face of climate change. Overall, the expo was entertaining while maintaining a high level of educational value. It was slightly disheartening to see what was widely considered a moderate turn-out, even for the concert, but the activity seemed to have broken through to some people who would have otherwise gone home that day without a chance to confront some of the pressing environmental issues of our time in a palatable way.

One more important development: My workstation has been moved to be nearer the branch I am assigned to for my ongoing Wastewater and Sludge Regulations project. Now I feel a stronger attachment to the project and have easier access to advice and help while moving forward. The newest draft of the regulations was sent back to our offices yesterday for further review and approval (if possible), so hopefully we will see acceleration in the work to finalize corrections and prepare guidelines for sensitization sessions with licensees and regulators. Let’s cross our fingers.

Challenges faced: The main challenge of the past few weeks is founded in the nature of my current project. The pace of progress can vary with each new day. Moving along at a relatively nimble pace one day, and then grinding to a halt and slogging through a few days without a clear direction, is not uncommon. I have had to readjust my expectations of how and when tasks will be delivered to me. It has taken some creativity to remain on-task.

Lessons learnt: This challenge has taught me to accept the nature of my internship. To gain anything valuable from my time here, I will have to work within the structure of my workplace, instead of waiting for it to conform to my expectations. It sounds simple enough; let’s see what I can do.