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Two weeks on secondment at the London hub

10 July 2014

Two weeks on secondment at the London hub

By Samrawit Sintayehu, Farm Africa’s Ethiopia-based Communications Officer

It was a lovely bright day when I landed at Heathrow International Airport two weeks ago. Even though it is my second time here in the UK, the hugeness and busyness of Heathrow made me nervous. Thankfully Farm Africa’s London hub had arranged for a taxi driver to be at the gate with my name before I became too confused!

I arrived with huge heart for my one month secondment. The main tasks for my stay are to work with the UK communications team, receive practical training and give presentations to a wide range of audiences. I have been working with very skilled colleagues and learning from their different working practices and working environments. This is the first time that I have worked away from Ethiopia, my home country and initially I was full of mixed feelings!

In this postcard I wanted to share the site visits I’ve made so far. My adventure started with a visit to the Grand Union Canal on a lovely sunny day and a glass of iced coffee (a favorite British drink). I visited London zoo and rode a bike on the busy London roads. I also joined Farm Africa’s charity softball team and played my very first game. Back in the office, I learnt techniques to pitch press releases to media contacts. Press releases are rarely used as a way to reach local media at home, but the writing skills I learnt will really help my future approaches to press contacts. I also worked with my London colleagues on the next edition of Farm Africa's internal newsletter, Salaam.

In my second weekend in the UK I went to Brighton with two of my colleagues. This city boasts a gorgeous seaside, a Royal Pavilion and pretty but small shops. I tried fish and chips (a traditional British meal, oh how delicious!) and sweet candies. It was such fun! I travelled to Andover to meet students from Avonbourne Girls School and talked to them about Farm Africa’s work in Ethiopia. Then I travelled to Burbage in Wiltshire to meet long-standing supporters of Farm Africa and give them a presentation. Oh, they were so kind, with such compassion.

All in all my first two weeks in the UK have been very exciting, and I still have many adventures ahead, including giving a presentation at Farm Africa’s annual general meeting to our board members, trustees and supporters. 

Look out for my next postcard!