Equatorial Guinea

Melania Mora

Organization: FAO Equatorial Guinea
Dates: 5/23/2016 to 7/21/2016
Web site: http://www.fao.org/countryprofiles/index/en/?iso3=gnq

In Melania's own words

How I contributed: Although the program was robust in quality and content, there was a big lack of organization that impeded its progress. we systematized data and the activities of the project

What I felt most challenged by: The culture and dictatorship

What I enjoyed most: The natural beauty of the country that made the agricultural work enjoyable

Would I recommend this experience: Yes. Its a very unique country and unique situation to be addressing unlike any other. it allows you to gain life and professional skills, as well as allowing you to reflect on many relevant topics.

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Connie Potter

Organization: FAO
Dates: Summer 2015
Web site: http://www.fao.org/countryprofiles/index/en/?iso3=gnq
 

In Connie's own words

How I contributed: I was a project assistant on the Urban and Periurban Horticulture Project, reinforcing nutrition in Central Africa thanks to increased availability of food products produced locally.  I interviewed 60 farmers in several rural regions to learn about their production systems and challenges they face throughout the supply chain. I also worked in the setup and design of plant nurseries to produce starter plants for the project beneficiaries.  I helped write three administrative reports on the interview findings and project advancements.

What I felt most challenged by: It was difficult to accustom myself to the challenges that come working in a new professional environment: understanding new cultural procedures, working with new supervisors, etc.

What I enjoyed most: I most enjoyed learning from our beneficiary farmers and having the opportunity to talk with them at their homes, visit their fields, and travel to many rural areas. The report writing I accomplished was also extremely beneficial in understanding how governmental organizations work with local offices and smallholders to accomplish their goals.

Would I recommend this experience: Absolutely. While I cannot speak for the other FAO offices in Central Africa, the office in EG was extremely small and flexible, allowing me to take on work above my experience level. I was the only international assistant there, all my other colleagues were capable Equato Guineans. I essentially ran all project operations on my specific project for the time that I was there and I always had sufficient in-country support.

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