Finnish energy (by Christine)

More than seven (long) meetings per week, staying together to do group work until 4AM and five skype conversations on one day: nothing is too crazy for the ALM 2016 team located in Finland.

The six students as well as the mentors have been working long hours on this year’s project already. We are all super excited about the privilege to be involved in such an amazing project in which we can travel the world and at the same time (hopefully) contribute to improved living standards in El 20. Today, I realised that we already started the shared learning experience when we first met each other. This is mostly due to our culturally and academically diverse backgrounds; I have already learned so much from my Finnish and German team mates as well as from the Mexican students with whom I skyped, that I am super excited to travel to Mexico and combine all these great minds together in the continuation of this project.

Currently, most of our work concentrates on proper planning; both in terms of schedule, but also with regards to testing equipment and other luggage that we will have to bring to Mexico. In addition to two meetings with the entire team, we have also had many ‘subgroup’ (as well as other) meetings with the water- and education teams. I am happy to see that both subgroups are well on their way with the preparations for the field trip. This is for example what happened in the last 36 hours: the education team met up to go through a checklist, run through the planning with the workshops/games/educational content in mind and redistribute tasks. The water team spent a morning in the analytical water laboratory to discuss and test the equipment needed for the water sampling, measuring and analysing (and a big thanks for Aino Peltola, the Senior Laboratory Technician: your help is much appreciated, it was incredibly helpful!). The Finnish guys who have been focusing on funding met up with Anni (our amazing ALM programme mentor and facilitator) to perfect the sponsor letters. And then the whole team met with Anni and Elina (a mentor from last year, who unfortunately cannot join us this year) to ask questions and discuss our current plan and activities, for around five hours. And that short summary only describes the meetings, because next to that we of course all do our individual tasks.

As you can see from the paragraph above, the Finnish ALM team is well on track and full steam ahead with regards to the work on this project. Although the paragraph might initially sound like a complaint, it actually is the exact opposite! It’s not that we are forced to work until four in the morning; we do this because we are truly excited about ALM and want to deliver the best work we possibly can. Next to that, we are also just enjoying our time together as well as the shared learning experience (see how happy we look in the picture?!). And the fact that this might disrupt our sleeping habits every once in a while? It’s something we happily live with: ALM is a once in a lifetime opportunity!

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p.s. only ten days left until our flights to Mexico: we can barely wait! We will try to keep you updated via this blog, so make sure to follow it.

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