October 17, 2011

World Seafood Congress in DC

Clouds from the air

I flew to DC again for a week, to go to the World Seafood Congress. It was the perfect conference for me to go to: sessions on aquaculture, sustainability and certifications standards, and challenges in fisheries and aquaculture in South America, Africa, and Asia. The biggest thing I gained was more of an industry point of view, and of course, the opportunity I had to meet several people in the field.
I definitely didn't get the memo that everyone would be wearing black blazers. Oh well, easily excused by introducing myself as a student. Still, it was strange. I'm used to being one of the best dressed people at scrubby-scientist meetings or polo/khaki-wearing-vet conferences. I was dressed up, but not corporate business attired enough, despite my high heels.
Super nice: they provided us with cough drops, pad of paper and a pen, and water at each session.Gorgeous deco wave railings in the hotel

I met the new CEO of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, and shared with him the work I did at WWF this summer on the ASC certification standards. He was grateful for my work, yay! I got to use my Spanish, speaking with a lady in the fisheries dept of Uruguay, and I got to use my Swahili, (finally, after 10 yrs of trying to keep it up with no one to speak to) with a vet from the Fisheries Dept of Tanzania. Very cool. One academician whose papers I have been reading all year came up to me and said he recognized my name, and that he used to work at Seafood Watch too. Such a small world. I couldn't believe someone came up to me, as a student!

Panel discussion
I was so happy to be back in DC. I stayed with Na'la, one of my dance friends for one night, and I stayed with Althea, one of the ladies I met at WWF for the rest of my time there. I saw other friends/coworkers at WWF one afternoon, catching up, re-connecting. As I left DC, I could see the soccer field behind the WWF building, and was able to pick out the WWF building; I could see the bridge I rode my bike over every day this summer, I saw the cathedral where I took a couple strolls, and the neighborhood where I lived, and teared up. I didn't want to leave all over again.
Appalachia from the air.
Still, coming home to Monterey is a pretty rad option. I feel so blessed to have 2 places I really love. And now, on to applying to jobs in both locations...I wonder where I'll end up. I think it really has me stressed out actually. This is big stuff! Last time I was a year away from graduating from a graduate degree, that's when the sh*t hit the fan...so my body is certainly reacting stressfully to that expectation despite the fact that I'm doing really well in school and am excited about what my future holds. *Sigh* How do bodies internalize so much scar-emotion??

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