Friday, August 15, 2008

Reflection on the workshop so far...

The workshop is going... Much of the sessions have been review for me. Having been in courses of economics, policy, ecology, fish physiology, ecosystem modeling, and physical modeling, much of the discussion is review. Very boring... Still, the context of Chile makes it very interesting - however, much of the discussion is being led by American experts. However, the experts are on-the-whole much more interested in working in concert with others, which goes a long way in integrating the work detail of the thirty-odd people here, roughly half of whom (primarily in the US contingent) haven't ever met each other prior to coming to Concepcion.

I was worried about my lack of Spanish competency. However, there are many people here (the University) who speak English, and all but one of the presentations (which was translated) have been in English.

The food here is good, especially due to the availability of fresh seafood. Concepcion seems to have several universities, the best on being Universidad de Concepcion - which is our hosting institution. But the city is very utilitarian, except for a few places, compared with Ann Arbor, Flagstaff, or St Andrews (more similar to my memories of Ulaan Baatar than anywhere else).

I'm a little worried about week 2 of the workshop since five of the US experts are returning to the US before the documents are starting to be written. That there are some new people coming in for the writing portion is also professionally disturbing for me... I will wait and see before passing final judgment.

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