So, what have I been working on this past month? Well, my main job is as a coordinator of a partnership between CCAFS and USAID. CCAFS are working to identify climate-smart agriculture (CSA) in what USAID are already doing primarily throughout Africa and Asia in their Feed The Future (FTF) initiative. Some time this year there will be several trips to the FTF sites to do a deeper assessment of their practices and policies and I may be tagging along to a couple which is really exciting! My role is to ensure the smooth running of the partnership and support my boss in chasing things up and writing supporting documents. The biggest piece I have produced so far is an extensive evaluation of the metrics they use to measure CSA and the same for how other organisations measure adaptation to climate change in their projects. It is such a difficult concept to quantify but I have found it really interesting. There is a workshop in Paris in March with all of these organisations so hopefully they will come up with a more successful way to measure adaptation.
Last week, a few of us were invited to a 'retreat' at the big boss' house in the countryside outside of Cali, near a town called Pance. It was nice to get out of the city for a day and he lives in a beautiful gated community surrounded by forest and tropical vegetation. It was an enjoyable experience and it was good to get to know my superiors in an more informal setting. I did, however, get badly sunburnt on my back throughout the day sitting in the shade! Oh you deceiving Colombian sun you!
I am still getting used to having very little time to myself in the evenings as I get home at 6 and have to wake up at 5.30am, but it is not too unpleasant since I can just sit on the bus with my eyes closed on my commute and don't have to stand on various public buses or tubes like back home. Juan Felipe, my boyfriend, is very sweet and always gets up with me and takes me to where I get my bus, and then collects me in the evening. On the walk home we pass an incredible row of various types of ants building their ant-hills and crossing pavements and roads to collect leaves. I honestly feel like I am in a nature documentary in the middle of this vast city, and most people trample over them completely unaware of the incredible work these ant colonies are doing, right under their feet!
So, to conclude, I am pleased with my job so far and everyone has been very welcoming. Long may it last! I will post another update once more exciting things start to happen or if I end up going on a work-related trip.