Saving the world, and other daily activities at CEDHA| July 1, 2010
Entering into July the end is feeling closer - I am only here until the end of this month. With this perspective I'm going to take time to reflect on what progress I've made on my work and what an internship with CEDHA feels like.
We continue to compose and edit the paper on glaciers and mining. We are starting to consider what else we can do within it - we may attempt an inventory of glaciers, a detailed list of mining projects in Argentina, and other useful catalogues of action in Argentina.
To this end, we met this past Tuesday with CONAE, the Comision Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (National Commission on Space Activities), to talk with them about their satellite image collection and capabilities. We wanted to see how we could use pictures that they might have - of mining sites, of glaciers, and anything else that may be relevant to our work. They gave us a number of places to look for great information, and also showed us around their complex, which is about an hour outside of Cordoba. This included their supercomputers, their central command, their gigantic satellite dishes, along with many images, presentations, and models in a special showroom. This was an exciting meeting for me because it was the first one I attended between CEDHA and another organization, and the security measures we went through beforehand definitely made the visit feel exclusive!
I also continue to attend meetings amongst different groups in CEDHA , including the mining group meetings and the clinics group meetings. It is a great way to get a sense of all the many projects that CEDHA produces, and a wonderful way to meet people - let alone an important place for practicing my Spanish.
CEDHA has been a wonderful place to work. The people are welcoming, friendly, and helpful. Most everything that they do is interesting - spending my summer talking about the right to water and the responsibilities of a municipality in properly disposing of trash is a lot more charged and interesting to me than researching tax law. I prefer going into the office over working at home - that's a testament to how wonderful the CEDHA atmosphere is.
There is always interesting action within the organization. On any given day one advisor is on the local morning news talking about a lawsuit we just filed, while another is in Europe participating in a United Nations program, while a coordinator is attending an important debate about a crucial city issue, while a volunteer is working on an amicus brief CEDHA will file, while a student is out in the field talking to the victims of environmental abuse. And the best part about these things is that at any time I know I can ask to be shown something or included on a project and the people involved will do the most they can to make it happen.
In addition, CEDHA is an interesting place to be because the foundation itself is always developing and growing - you're hardly a cog in an old, definitively established machine. Here the mining section is just getting off the ground, so the work I've been doing for it is especially important and foundational. Recently we also developed a group that focuses on forest preservation as well. Any contribution to CEDHA that an intern makes here is incredibly valuable and meaningful.
If all of this hasn't sold you on how great CEDHA is, our Comision de Cultura y Esparcimiento (Commission on Culture and Dissemination) will. She is more commonly known as my friend Virginia from clincs, and she has planned events during the past few weeks for CEDHA to get together outside of work. Sadly I missed the first event while I was in Mendoza, but this past weekend I was able to enjoy an asado (BBQ) at the mountain house of my other clincs friend Florencia. It was myself, Vir, Flor, and Flor's boyfriend Diego. We took a one hour bus to get back out to nature in the mountains outside of Cordoba. Here is a picture of the river that runs behind the house.
The four of us brought chorizo (sausage) and hamburgers that we cooked on the outside grill, while we talked and enjoyed the scenery. Even though it was cold and cloudy it was much better than busy, smoggy Cordoba! After that, we went down to the rocks in the riverbank and sat and played cards while we drank mate. Quite a relaxing, peaceful afternoon! Here is a picture of the four of us.
And lastly, here is a picture of me and La Comision herself! Vir not only planned the asado but also taught me how to cook milanesa (schnitzel) and took me out to make more Argentine friends this week!
That's about all for this post, but there are some exciting things in the weeks to come! My birthday this Sunday, Argentina v. Germany in the World Cup this Saturday, possibly another trip before I leave, despedida (goodbye) parties, tango and salsa, and more!