Well my last week came to a close at CABI. Like many of the other Charity Insight participants have written, I also feel that the experience has been tremendous. In my PhD, I had come across many articles and books written by CABI and so the opportunity to work briefly in their office was a fulfilling personal experience. I also learned a lot from working with Peter Baker about the challenges facing the coffee sector, the other organizations involved, and some of his perceptions on how to address the challenges it is facing.
The modelling was very challenging as I had limited experience in Excel VBA and Monte Carlo simulation, however, it is amazing what you can find online to show you the way once you know what you are trying to implement.
Well week 3 went by fast! Some of the highlights from the week:
- Presented to some interested CABI staff the preliminary results from our coffee risk modelling endeavours and discussed how to use stochastic methods in Excel.
- A conference call to a colleague in Germany at HRNS to check in and plan the next steps for where to focus effort
- Said goodbye to my office mate who is off to Vanautu to teach a farming training course with cocoa producers.
- Said goodbye to my supervisor for the week as he was off to Germany and then Colombia for coffee meetings.
People do such an interesting variety of work at CABI and I’ve really enjoyed my time in the office (though I have to say, I think I’d rather be in Vanautu when I look outside 😉 ).
Week two flew by and I forgot to get a post done by Friday; I thought I’d bash it out this morning. It was an exciting week as I’ve finished a first draft of the simulation in Excel and we are now getting feedback from a few experts. I have a skype call today with a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) expert based in Germany for HRNS to walk-through the model and discuss future steps.
The situation for coffee farmers in Central America has been very tenuous the past few years due to a fungus called Coffee Leaf Rust or La Roya.
Today completes my first week at CABI. I knew CABI was a bit outside London, but the walk from the train station in Egham this week has been a welcome surprise. The forested areas around CABI are fantastic and make for such a pleasant walk to work. I got lost in the forest on Thursday and ended up going further than the public path I was meant to take; I was a bit late for work, but the sights, sounds, and pleasantness of the woods reminded me why I have no love affair with living in London.
On to the work!