Sunday, February 13, 2011

Surfing and fishcakes

I know that I haven’t talked much about the work I’m currently doing and I would like to share, but before I forget, let’s recap my weekend real quick. Essentially I limed my afternoons away, setting up a surf lesson for this morning.

Having only surfed with Sam on the West coast, I was a bit anxious about proving myself with a new instructor and a new surf spot – Freights Bay on the South coast with Christian and a group of EU diplomats (who are pretty cool). Even though I slathered on the SPF30 before heading out, I burned quite nicely. But it was worth it. When I’m out in the water, no matter how exhausted I am from paddling, it’s like I’m in my own world out there and life is good. I even watched a turtle stick its head out of the water and look around right in front of me! I rode a couple of good waves, one I even rode, thought it was over so I popped down then realized it was still going, so I jumped back up!
Burnt and worn out, I headed home to nap and make fishcakes for dinner, attempt number two at learning to cook Bajan.

I meant to make the fishcakes Saturday, but after forgetting baking powder and oil at the store, fatigue got the better of me and I tried them today. It’s essentially a fried ball of dough with spices, saltfish, onions, shallots and a bit of hot pepper – delicious! They turned out great ☺

Now back to another work week - but work is going fairly well. There are always challenges but I'm positive about the remainder of the placement. I'm working on a series of focus groups right now with teens to figure out how to engage this generation to talk and take action on issues that affect them, particularly using social networks. So far, a lot of interesting stuff coming out and a lot of social commentary that make my jaw drop! Apart from that, I got our office a social media presence with a Facebook and Youtube page, and trying to work on building up followers from around the region, particularly youth and those that UNICEF could partner with on projects. And I got the office using Prezi to make more engaging presentations for donors and stakeholders, which is fun for me and will involve some training of staff. Otherwise, as Tom, the Representative, joked at a staff meeting last week, he'll have to hire me as his personal consultant when I leave. Wednesday this week is the big meeting on presenting and discussing this year's Country Program Document (or CPD since the UN is very fond of acronyms) with Education and Social Affairs government departments in each of the (now) 12 countries that our office covers, since Anguilla was recently added. That's about it for an update right now!

And Melissa and I got a special (edible!) surprise from France this week, yummy! Gros bisous cocotte :D

And this is how happy I was to eat my first cheeseburger in months:

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