Rêve de PhD. C’est accompli.

After four years of PhDing, I submitted my thesis last November and on Monday (the 26th of February, 2018) I passed my viva voce (oral defence) successfully! It has been a long journey, and at times, it felt like never ending, but at last, it is all and well done. Looking back, I wondered why I wanted to do a doctorate in the first place. What inspired, motivated and ultimately made me do it?

Olive dreams

Back in September, I read an interesting article from the Smithsonian on EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). The article featured Tonio, a sixth-generation olive oil producer in Altamura, Puglia, Italy. The traditional olive production and harvest require lots of hands (all the family and neighbours) and uncompromising dedication to quality. In the article, it featured that today, many work-away volunteers come to join the family harvest in November. It piqued my interest, and I decided to email Tonio and ask if I can be a part of the olive team.

Homecoming

Two days have passed since I am back from the fieldwork. Compared to the intensity and busy-ness of my last week in Rwanda (I was meeting government officials and NGO people up until last minute), I feel out of place finding myself sitting and watching over the Saint-Laurent River with ducks and ducklings peacefully floating on the shore.