blog Wetskills-UK 9 April – by Zayneb al-Shalalfeh (University of East Anglia)
I thought that participating in Wetskills will be a good plan for the Easter holiday, and it actually was. I am impressed with the smart schedule which the event coordinators: Inge and Chrysoula have put.
I was welcomed with another eleven young water professionals participating in the event with an ice-breaking game that got us to explore the city of Bath. This unique exercise introduced us to beautiful routes and parks which we would visit later for having lunch or for a walk. Later, several other events where arranged for us to explore Bath and learn about its history in connection to the event’s theme but also generally. As someone with experience in events coordination, this was a learning experience for me besides it being fun. It is actually rare to participate in an event where the schedule is such rich with site exploration visits. This would have not been possible without the two devoted coordinators who sacrificed their whole day and evening time for an engaging plan.
The event has adopted a learning by doing style which maximized the learning benefit. I was very happy with the case that was assigned to me together with Yasmin and Noortje and so was everyone I think. My team worked on assessing the sustainability of the water management system in Bath city using the city blueprint framework. This was an interesting experience for me where my work experience was mostly in rural areas.
Besides these positive feelings, Wetskills gave me some shock… Some participants asked me:
- Do girls in Palestine go to schools?
- Oh, but do you have any universities in Palestine?
- Can women drive in Palestine?
Questions that were strange to me but also sad to realize how many misconceptions are there about Palestine. I was happy though that people are asking, and got to discover how sensor are those who have asked.