Behind the glamour of Travels and Trainings

 My cousins and friends always tell me that I am very lucky because I get to travel a lot due to my job. I am an agricultural extension worker employed at the Agricultural Training Institute whose main job function is to deliver agricultural extension services to our clients. By clients, it covers all stakeholders in agriculture. It may seem glamorous to those who are confined at their office day in and day out. But it is not as glamorous as it seems.

This month, for example, I attended 4 activities in various places all over the country. I was hopping from one place to another, by bus or by plane. For those who seldom ride a plane, they might say, Wow! But they may not have experienced waiting for hours on end as flights get delayed and worst, cancelled. Not to mention the turbulence up there which is getting frequent, maybe due to the unpredictable weather. Just as I am writing this,(as I am finally going home after being away for almost a month), I hope that our flight won’t be delayed as I am already at the airport at 4:00 A.M. for my 11:45 A.M. flight. Why so early? Well, I came from afar and if I will leave later, it would take hours to get to the airport due to the monstrous traffic in Metro Manila. This meant that I got to wake up at 2:00 A.M. to get ready for the journey. Those who frequently travel are not strangers to rising very early. Sleep is becoming a luxury.

Going back to the 4 trainings that I attended, well we got to be accommodated in hotels but the food, well, hotel food leaves much to be desired. Usually, it is meat, meat and more meat.  Once they served boiled veggies with bagoong. Wow, the Ilocano in me rejoiced! But that was just once. Time for detox and  massage when I get home. The venues that we had have nice pools which I was not able to use despite the fact that I brought with me a swim wear.  That is because after a long day of lectures and workshop and field work, I don’t have any more energy for a swim. And no time for sight seeing. It just training, then sleep then training again. Same cycle day in and day out.

The saying that nothing in this world is free is true.  When I go back, I need to re-echo what I have learned. As payment, I need to conduct 5 trainings: 2 short- term trainings on Climate Change, a week-long Training of Trainers (TOT) on Rice Crop Manager and a 10-day TOT on Climate Smart Farm Business School (CSFBS) and a 4-month Farmer Field School on CSFBS.  This need to be implemented immediately.
I am aware that government is spending for me in the trainings that I attended. Rest assured, I will be paying it back with interest, the 4 activities, with 5 and the 4 weeks with 4 months.
I am not complaining.  This is my choice. What I would just like to convey is that despite the seemingly glamorous nature of my job, it is hard work.  The problems of the agriculture sector is enormous. We need to do our part.