A Pacific islander's experience in the Caribbean


Once again, it is the time when I have to hunt down the entire room to ensure I have packed all my clothes, and not forgetting anything. As I look forward to heading home after a week, which can be classified as a roller coaster ride.

The debates

The Caribbean-Pacific Agri-Food Forum was most certainly a good and knowledgeable week for participants from across the Caribbean, Pacific and African regions. A good experience for a first year journalism student like me, this forum had something to offer for everyone. From social media reporters, to presenters and participants.

The week saw some good debates from about Subsidy vs. Loans, to God and Devil; I kid you not there was an actual unofficial debate on the bus about God and the Devil, and not forgetting the debate on gender, the difference in the mind-sets, experiences, and regions added colour to these.

The learnings

For the social reporters, the event started with a 2-day social media reporting training – a process that some of us were already familiar with, but there was always something new to learn. The training interactive and some of the reporters even stepped in to share tips and trips from their experience on the ground during some sessions. For example, how to capture good photos and videos etc.

Come day one, we were all psyched for an exciting week ahead. For my Caribbean colleagues, it was an exciting opportunity as they got to learn so many new things, even to the extent some of them engaged in healthy debates in sessions.

The sessions

What stood out to me was the discussion about subsidy and loan. The reason being that this topic makes room for some healthy discussions and debates. While I hold my personal view back, you be the judge and feel free to post in the comments.

Apart from that, the chefs session was interesting. There were certain things said, which can be agreed upon. For example:

“People not only want to feel the destination, they want to taste it.”

Of course those are not the direct words, but that basically sums up what was said during that session.

The team

I had a great team of social media reporters to work with. Although I should admit that coming from the Pacific, the Caribbean accent was a bit of a challenge to understand at the beginning. But despite this difference in accent and culture, we managed to work well together as a team. It was by far the most cheerful and happy team I’ve ever worked with. This experience is certainly one that will remain in our memories for a long time.

When I started writing this blog I was packing, and finishing off on a flight to Miami to catch my connection home. This has most certainly been an exciting week for me being in the Caribbean for the first time ever, and I look forward to see my fellow social reporters again soon if destiny permits.

To all of you who have been following #CPAF15, a big Vinaka Vaka Levu (Thank You very much in Fijian) from the Social Media team and hoping to blog for another event soon.

Find out all blogposts by the #CPAF15 Social Reporting Team here: http://bit.ly/CPAF15blogs

Photo and video credits: Luke Smith

Blogpost by Avneel Abhishay, Social Reporter for the Caribbean-Pacific Agri-Food Forum 2015. 

Copyright © 2016, CTA. Technical Centre for Rural and Agricultural Cooperation

CTA is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.