1st Entry - May 10, 2013

Posted by andre at Jun 25, 2013 01:42 PM |
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My first week here at the UNEP CAR-RCU office has been great.  I have spent the majority of my time researching UNEP’s various sub-programmes, projects, and literature.  Everyone at the office is incredibly welcoming and willing to help myself and other interns find our way about Jamaica.  I am slowly beginning to place the names with the abundance of smiling faces.

This task might prove to be one of the most difficult.  With the help of our co-workers, myself and the other interns now know where to grab the tastiest and most affordable lunch in downtown Kingston.  The morning bus rides on the local bus have been challenging and fun. I pride myself on saying that I can effectively navigate my way to work with ease. 

I will be working with the UNEP’s Assessment and Management of Environmental Pollution under Chris Corbin’s supervision.  I will specifically be dealing with the Global Environmental Facility’s Integrating Watershed and Coastal Areas Management in Caribbean Small Island Developing States (GEF IWCAM) Project.  This project will be ending this summer so I will be reviewing the various case studies and compiling a technical report, summarizing the various accomplishments of the project.  I have found GEF-IWCAM project to be incredibly interesting as it directly relates to my professional aspirations and aligns well with my educational background.  Each case study highlights IWCAM’s efforts and accomplishments in managing the various watersheds and coastal areas that are suffering from degraded water quality, inappropriate land use, and poor sanitation. I look forward to learning more about the project and how various countries have benefitted from it. 

Challenges Faced
Some challenges that I have faced this week include: getting to work using the public transportation system, learning names at the office, finding coffee filters so that I can feed my addiction, and trying to grasp the vast amount of information giving to us this week. I expect to run into more challenges as my time here at UNEP continues and my workload increases.

Lessons Learnt
I have learned that asking questions is the best way to overcome these difficulties especially since everyone is so willing to offer help. The key to succeeding in a new environment is to take advantage of your most valuable resource - co-workers and the locals.  Also, the UNEP likes to use many acronyms, so I have found it helpful to create a list of those pertaining to my field of work so that I can easily reference them.