If you love languages then being a conference interpreter is richly rewarding in and of itself. On top of diving into your passion in an exhilarating way, you also get a side benefit, which is one of the things that convinced me to take up this career. It was described in a book, maybe it was the one by Jean François Rozan, using this question: would you like to be invited to hear the world's greatest experts discussing every imaginable subject and be paid for it? Yes! was my answer. I've always had great curiosity about a broad variety of subjects. That was one reason I had so much difficulty choosing one career to the exclusion of others that also interested me. Journalism also seemed a way to continue indulging my curiosity. But interpreting added the intense use of languages to the mix. I was sold.
Last week I was at a conference in Florencia, Caquetá, Colombia: the Governors' Climate and Forest Working Group. It was started in 2008 by a group of states and provinces, what they call sub-national or jurisdictional level. The states involved contain 50% of the world's tropical forests. They are attempting to preserve forests partly to stop climate change but also to respect indigenous peoples, who are quite involved in the process. You can read about it here. I flew from San Francisco, California, to Bogotá, Colombia, then caught a small regional flight to the departamento of Caquetá, whose governor hosted the other governors for the annual meeting in his capital city, Florencia. Apart from learning so much and satisfying my curiosity, when the cause is a noble one like here, it's all the more gratifying. And then there's the fun of travel!