Working 16 hour days, 7 days a week with no break. Iraq declared a level 3 Humanitarian (not Security) Emergency, which means that the UN has free reign to pull in more staff and resources, to assist the humanitarian crisis. Apart from working long days, heartbreaking/eye-opening visits last week when I met with over 60 … Continue reading From Erbil….
Romania is beautifully haunting. Gorgeous countryside peppered with impoverished villages and medieval castles. Experiencing a pork induced food coma. After 6 months in a Muslim country, devoid of pork product, I have gone to little piggy heaven. Romanian cuisine is epic in so many ways. My stomach has gotten used to ingesting greasy Bangladeshi food. I'm … Continue reading The Land of Vlad and a reunion with pork
Drinking Polish beer on a 30 year old Serbian train going through Bosnia and next Montenegro. HIlariously 'adopted' by a Serbian grandmother who is sharing my Harry Potter-esque Hogwarts car with her three grandchildren. No one speaks a lick of English. I don't speak a lick of Serbian. Every now and then, I hear a … Continue reading Trip notes (Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro)
Things in Iraq, politically and socially seem to be getting more tense. We don't see it here in the Green Zone, as we are quite isolated/protected. There have been several attacks in the North (Kirkuk) and in suburbs of Baghdad. My Iraqi colleagues have to go through 3 hours of check points each morning, just … Continue reading Green Zone update, Part III
Last night I dreamt I had forgotten my name 'Cause I had sold my soul but awoke just the same… Thank you, Neko Case for your lyrics. Best. Ginga. Ever.
Iraq is in shambles. Pretty dire in certain areas. Lots of bombings as of late and the sectarian violence is escalating. The refugee crisis only makes the region more unstable. However, in Baghdad, where I am, things are OK. Security is always very tight. I just hope none of this craziness affects my ability to … Continue reading Iraq in Shambles
Call to prayer, Petra, Jordan...sitting atop my hotel in the outdoor cafe. Flames glowing from the fires that are lit across the veranda, light is soft and flickering with warm, soft breeze. I can hear the chatter of people coming and going by horseback into Petra. Jordan is Slightly intoxicating.
Time for a long overdue update. It's a Friday morning here in Baghdad (Friday is out Saturday as the work week is Sun-Thurs). After several days of cloudy sandstorm skies, its blue and clear (and only 80F -- very rare weather for this time of year in the Middle East). I am told we'd normally … Continue reading Life in the IZ, part II
It seems the world is full of crazies (and not just in Baghdad). I am still stunned re: Boston bomb blasts. I loved the 78-year old who was knocked off his feet and got up to finish the race. Amazing. Here in Iraq, we are on lockdown most days. Everything is heavily fortified, but when … Continue reading Baghdad + Boston bombs….
Pretty amazing private tour tonight of the West Wing tonight. My friend is a White House fellow, so he gives occasional tours to friends and family. I got to see places most don't get to see, like the Oval Office. No photos allowed though. Pretty stellar to see the behind the scenes. It didn't feel … Continue reading V-day in the House of Obama