Last week, en route to a meeting of NGOs to discuss tar sands campaigning, I met up with two of our ex-interns in Brussels to catch up and see how they are each getting on in their new posts. Both Rachel and Mel were amazing interns at Friends of the Earth Scotland and it’s so great to see them happily ensconced in Belgium, enjoying moules frites, getting to know the streets of their new home and working hard.

But, don’t take my word from it, Mel has sent us an update of her first month in Brussels, and as an extra treat, which you can read here, and below are Rachel’s farewell words.

Rachel said

Fresh faced and bushy-tailed, I came to Friends of the Earth Scotland straight from university, having finished a degree in Philosophy and Politics at Edinburgh.  Having eagerly accosted Juliet Swann, our head of Projects and Campaigns, at a talk and exhibition by wildlife artist Darren Rees in March, I continued to pester her via email about interning with FoES. Gradually I wore her down, until she interviewed me in May and we chatted about what I could expect from volunteering with FoES, the different campaigns they were working on, and the Access to Environmental Justice campaign that they needed a researcher for. I joined them at the beginning of June, starting off with my head down, getting to grips with the ins and outs of the Aarhus Convention and the Scottish legal system, but gradually peeping up from my work, to find myself, an as yet unconfessed Mad Hatter, to be right in the middle of the tea party. The more I got into the work, the more I got to know and love the charming quirks of the extremely hardworking and supportive projects and campaigns team.  Meeting this

afternoon, team? In the pub, team? viagra 100mg What’s that on your desk, Mary? A plaster penguin? A feathered headdress? How many different kinds of cake are in the office today? Three!?

The work I’ve done with FoES has been more than just desk research, but has included trips to the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Executive to brief various MSPs and government representatives on our Access to Justice campaign, and what we’re looking for the government to do. Helping draft petitions, discussing ideas for stunts, attending and helping out at events like a talk from Chief Al Lameman from the Beaver Lake Cree about the impact of Tar Sands, going to workshops like the LINK advocacy training day, and conferences like the Civil Justice Consultation Seminar. It’s been a real experience, and there’s nothing like getting thrown in at the deep end in order to learn how to swim.