1st Entry - July 22, 2015

Posted by Sean Chedda at Aug 04, 2015 05:45 PM |
Already a week has passed since I first started my internship with the UNEP/CEP – as they say, time flies when you’re having fun!

Seeing as I arrived in Kingston just one day before the beginning of my internship, this past week has been a time of constant discovery. I found a tougher part of myself as I struggled to rush into (sometimes scarce) route taxis, got to familiarize myself with Jamaican “patois”, was amazed with some of Jamaica’s delicious food, and had a glimpse of Kingston’s effervescent beats and nightlife.

On the first day of my internship, I was welcomed by my friendly colleagues – they provided me with useful tips on life in Kingston and showed me around the area. They immediately made me feel at home here, in the UNEP offices and in Jamaica.

I spent my first week of work as a Communications Intern mainly familiarizing myself with 2015-2016 CEP & CETA Workplan, met with the UN Communications Group, got to participate in a few meetings, but mostly devoted my time proofreading and copy-editing the French translation for the IGM Report.

Challenges faced

As anyone who first starts working at the UN, I did have trouble keeping up with the extensive list of UN-acronyms. I now keep a list close in reach at all times. It always comes in handy.

When assisting in the review of the IGM Report in French, I found myself doing more translation than I expected. Because this document still needed so much work, and the text could at times be rather ambiguous, I was sometimes left with a headache or nightmares of misleading French phrases would haunt me at night. Technology is wonderful, but it sometimes played against us on that first week of work. Unfortunately, WIFI gave us a hard time during a Skype teleconference, which we had great difficulty participating in – and I realized how dependent I /my work was on the Internet, when the connection stopped working for half a day.

Lessons learnt

Translation is hard. Brace yourself and make sure to be well equipped with patience, coffee and a good online dictionary.

Technology is unpredictable. When technology lets go, you must too. Shanti shanti.