While enjoying our outdoor coffee break from the stimulating sessions of the IFOMC at the Hotel O’Higgins courtyard in Viña del Mar, Chile I begin chatting with another young woman who seemed to be pretty interested in talking to a “real live observer.” I tell her about this thing I might end up doing in DC in a few weeks IF I have time, and IF my travel plans work out. “I work for Oceana. I live in DC. I volunteered at that event you are talking about two years ago. Absolutely do it! And you must stay on my couch.” I liked this girl immediately and replied, “Okay!” And that was that.
I sent in my application to volunteer at the Blue Vision Summit but wasn’t sure at the time if I would go- having sadly failed at rounding up any other northeast fisheries observers or NMFS employees to volunteer with me. Now that I had a new friend (who I met in South America, of all places) and a place to stay there was no excuse. I bought my plane tickets to fly to DC for the week of the Summit and planned to take Amanda up on her couch offer.