Wetskills-USA 2023, by Mare de Wit (Amsterdam, NL) – Yes! I am in New York City! I had a little delay so Thursday 15th was my first real Wetskills day. And I was welcomed warmly. Not only by the group, but also because of the weather: 15 degrees Celsius with a shocking blue sky and proudly shining sun!
In the morning, I walked through beautiful, busy Manhattan towards the work-location. I felt a little bit like a real New Yorker already: I grabbed a coffee to-go, I didn’t always wait for the red light to turn green and I had already getting used to the extremely loud honks and sirens by impatient (large) car drivers. In other words: I really felt part of the stable stream of commuters going to their work. And it felt good!
Arrived at the work-location, I met my groupmates. We are working on a very interesting subject: the introduction of the use of Algues for desalination. It is very well linked to my own work: climate resilient watermanagement in a Dutch coastal region. We are increasingly suffering from salinity-problems and waterscarcity, so the subject is very relevant to me. With the group, we worked hard, but also had time to chat. It was a fulfilling day.
During the lunch, I took a hike towards the UN headquarters. That is where the magic happens and where world problems need to be solved! It is exciting to see it upfront. And in the ideal world, it is the place where my own working-desk will be. One day…
On the way back, I walked again. This time a different route. It is amazing to see how much is happening and is different from home, but in the meantime, it feels quite similar to Amsterdam. The people are dressed, acting and connecting likewise, and the atmosphere feels a little bit like (my) home.
To sum up: I had an amazing first day with Wetskills and I cannot wait to experience more.