Sunday, August 27, 2006

A visit to Flour City

No, I haven't gotten lonely, yet; I have several co-workers here at the office, university students drop in every day to volunteer time and expertise on AHEAD's many projects and there are many people in my neighborhood...

Then, there's always a trip to "Flour City."

On Saturday I went for a hike down along Rochester's downtown water front (about a mile away) and, as you might expect, it's beautiful—you can even drive your boat right up to your apartment building, if you live at the newly built Corn Hill Landing. I also visited High Falls on Genesee River a few blocks away, a 90 foot waterfall right in the middle of town. They once called Rochester "Flour City," because of the numerous grain mills that capitalized on the water power at the falls. I've been told that the flour was once so famous Queen Victoria would only eat bread made from it—she even visited the area once. There were many large, historic relics left behind that you are allowed to tour on you own.

It was getting late when I finally arrived at High Falls Visitors Center and Art Gallery. Sally, the Center's manager and curator, was super nice on insisting that I take a quick tour though the museum and gallery while she was closing up. Then, I asked Sally for directions to the nearest bus stop and received one of those "don't be out alone after dark" warnings. But I hadn't seen the falls, yet, so Sally said if I wanted to take a look and come right back that she would give me a ride home. That "special treatment" stuff for volunteers our Orientation Coordinator was telling us about really works! And Sally's just a special person, all by herself.

I'm also running into other volunteers, we seem to be all over, and finding that there are some very nice people in Rochester—like Rose over at the Downtown Visitors Center.

Life at the University of Rochester is great, I'm allowed to use most of the facilities around here (a huge library, several computer labs and the students' center) anytime they're open. I received my official campus ID card on Friday, have keys to the office to come and go as I wish 24/7 and I'm meeting some of UR's students and graduates. Several students work with us during the week on their Masters thesis and I've been given the "go-ahead," after my boss saw me talking to a student about his website, to assist anyone that might need my help or advice on Web development or our projects.

As I mentioned earlier, Ben and MJ are working on sending me to Africa, so I can start up their GHG project. My first day on the job was a luncheon meeting ninety miles away in Syracuse on just that topic—Carbon Credits Trading, a new area for the company. MJ, AHEAD's Director and CEO, drove us to meet with one of the Board of Directors, Adam, at a nice steak house off Highway 690. I enjoyed the meeting and the good food—all on the company's tab—and I'm very excited about the opportunity to play a part in this.

I've now doing research on locating dignitaries and other principles involved in the upcoming United Nation's COP-12 (Conference of the Parties) Meeting in Nairobi for Adam. He's going to help me with the Carbon Credits Trading and wants to meet with some of these COP representatives in nearby Mozambique when he goes to the Conference in November. Along with my regular duties as Special Projects Coordinator, I have been given responsibility over the company's website and Web-mail administration. I'm also doing some proofreading of grant proposals and lots of graphic work in between, redesigning AHEAD's logos and project brochures.

Staying very busy and usually arrive at the office around 7am and don't leave til 7pm; I normally work at least 8 hours but like to hang around the campus doing personal stuff (blog, email, stocks), you know the routine. I know... nothing's changed!