Well, this week was pretty amazing in some aspects and pretty awful in others. As far as ‘play’ goes- there was not much of it! I did have an opportunity to venture to the park near my (first) apartment. This park is massive, but I only had a chance to visit one small section, as I got a late start and had to head back to meet friends out on the town. The pictures below prove there’s a little bit of nature everywhere. The first gloriously large tree is in the massive park, but the rest, like the bird and her beautiful mansion of a nest, were found in the same small plot of grass in the median of a popular avenue.
I met my colleague, Stella, and a few of her roommates near St. Catherine’s cathedral, a huge church in the center of the city. During the summer months, the place fills up with outside food and drink stalls, and people find chairs and tables to sit at or grab a drink and a snack at one of the numerous vendors and sit on the ground or curb in large groups. It’s very festive, and everyone is friendly and pleasant.
Saint Catherine’s Cathedral
On Sunday I moved apartments- I couldn’t handle one more day of a soaked bathroom with no light. I got in touch with the organization I rented the first apartment through to alert them that the issues with the leaking still had not been resolved. I had lost electricity for over 24 hours as well, meaning I had to throw out all of the food in my fridge (you know how we, as sustainable folks, HATE to waste) and I was on edge that at any moment, something else was going to break! Luckily, the rental agency was completely understanding and my landlord was cooperative, so the transition went smoothly- I was able to get out of my contract with the other place and move immediately into another. I have a roommate now, who is absolutely delightful- loves to laugh, is incredibly genuine and has made me feel so at home and comfortable. The energy here is great. AND she has a kitty! Meet Salem!
This week was the EDD15 Conference. This was my first conference in the sustainability realm, and I must say it was very enjoyable. The European Development Days for the European Year of Development focused on the eradication of poverty. Common themes were culture, sustainable agriculture, human rights, education and sustainable tourism and development, with a large focus on Africa. FEST joined forces with Africa Diaspora Network and Louis Michel Minister of State, Member of the European Parliament, to discuss why culture should be a part of the development goals for the next fifteen years. The session was quite popular, with all the chairs filled and several people standing in the back of the room- the discussion even went over the time that was allotted (this was possible, as we had the last time slot of the day).
“Culture: The Forgotten Lifeblood of Development” a panel and discussion by FEST and ADN. The audience, and guest speaker, Louis Michel.
I met some great people with vision, motivation and hope for the future. It’s always invigorating to be surrounded by people that believe in sustainability and are working toward action to further its agenda. I heard discussions on sustainable agriculture, valuation for ecosystem services, culture as a vehicle for development through tourism, and sustainable development of African countries. All in all, a successful, interesting week.
As far as the internship objectives, I have chosen a few case studies and have familiarized myself with some of the capacity building criteria in the PM4SD training material. Week 4 marks the week of training, with 5 days of training and 2 tests. Countdown to Intensity!