Since my site change I have not posted much about my new assignment. I am not as integrated into the community at large, but very much with a small group associated with my host family. My days start out very early with a 5 am alarm. I get up and make my breakfast, pack most of my bag and then wait for my host mom to call me to walk. We walk for almost an hour, about 2.5 miles around the neighborhood.
After my morning walk I shower and dress for work and finish packing my lunch. (I have been focusing on meal planning in the last few months and pack my lunches the night before so they just have to be assembled in the morning. I then walk the 2.5 miles to work, if I am lucky one of my co-workers picks me up somewhere along the way. If I am unlucky I get a huge number of steps in! I do have many long cultural discussions with my co-workers. In fact one curiosity I got from them was what is the best car insurance in America? They see several commercials here: Geico, Allstate, The General, Progressive and a few others. It was a curiosity to me that they would ask this, but then I guess they do not have much choice in insurance here, so for such a variety it would be daunting to them I suppose.
My tasks at work vary. I am helping to move the green initiatives forward and my current projects there are securing containers for lemon/fever grass for mosquito mitigation in the buildings. The idea is to surround the buildings with a decent barrier of the grasses to deter the mosquitos from entering the building. My other project is to help build a compost bin for the grass and lawn debris, maybe even incorporate vegetable food waste.
I am also working on aquarium and species maintenance. This means that I clean the tanks and wet lab as needed, and I gather species from the sea when we have groups coming in. The lab has a permit to gather species for educational purposes, but the stuff in the wet lab should be returned bi-weekly. This means I have to go out and snorkel and get the animals needed to show in the touch tanks.
I do not actually give the educational sessions, but they want me to do so at some point. I do however, give lab tours and assist with boat tours. I also focus on the wet lab educational portions. (I am really surprised how much I remember from my undergrad!) The animals are my favorite part of this assignment! I also like the educational factor, as a short term non-classroom system.
My other assignment is to update social media as things happen. I have started a blog and am learning how to produce youtube videos. I also update the Facebook page and Twitter accounts, several of us should also be doing this. I do enjoy this portion as well. I enjoy my new job and have made friends with my coworkers.
My other outside project is helping to build capacity for the Alloa Fishermen’s Group. I am in the middle of a local school competition to create a logo for the Specialized Fisheries Conservation Area (SFCA) I have not had so much time with them since the New Year, but next month I plan on meeting with them a few times a month to really get things moving forward.