Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Humanitarian aid worker pick up lines

A blog that I read, Tales from the Hood ran a little blog post about "pick up lines" for Aid workers.

Some of their offerings included:
“Guess we’d better test these reproductive health kits ourselves….”

“Your pipeline is soooo big!”

“Don’t worry: I can do distribution all night long.”

“Care to join me for a needs assessment?”

“Is that a Thuraya in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?”

“Damn, the electricity is out. Looks like the only thing we have is the spark between us….”

“I have a warehouse of expiring condoms…”

“This one time, on the Jalalabad road….”

Taxi driver showed girl his driving license and said, “See? It says here that I’m authorized to transport dangerous cargo. That would be you!” *wink, wink*

That makes me laugh because on my first trip to Darfur in 2004 after a couple of pretty raucous parties, someone started a list of "sure fire ways to get laid in Darfur" but rather than punny- they relied more on the context and the fact that a natural response to being around death and dying is to embrace the very act which creates life. A lot of aid workers are young - really young! Sometimes it feels more like fraternity parties than the office parties of Washington DC. Work hard, play hard is the motto and there's a reason that if you want a stable marriage, you have to leave the field.

I remember a few of the lines on the top ten list but I wish I had written them down:

"You wouldn't believe what I saw today. I"ve got a bottle of "liquor" from the African Union mission. Wanna get drunk?"
"I am scared to sleep alone after the security event - can you just hold me for a while? "

But a favorite from an impromptu dance party in Haiti in March -(while listening to Aisha, the ubiquitous song played in almost every setting I've ever been to) "DAMN, why can't I be French and in [name of my org] France and make love to this song every weekend?"

And it also reminds me of some lines used on me too... but those, well, I'll tell you those in private. ;^)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Best of 2010 to date

Here's a few of my photos from my life in 2010 to date. I traveled to India - Delhi/Taj Mahal/Manipur/Kerala, Turkey- Istanbul and the roman ruins near Selcuk, the post-earthquake devastation of Haiti -Port-au-Prince and Carrefour, Edinburgh Scotland, a nice trip with my sister to Charleston South Carolina, and a bike ride with friends through the Tulip Fields of Holland.

This and that

Just an update on what is going on since my posts from Haiti - I removed the posts due to concerns from the place where I work - I will be looking at them again and seeing if I can repost them after editing them as I do not like the idea of being censored about writing about what I feel.

What's been going on since January 2010:
While preparing to return to India around the anniversary of my father's death, the Haiti earthquake struck. As I had worked in Haiti for a few years in the past, I was really horrified but luckily, the people I care about there were fine. I worked hard to get there to try to help with the earthquake.

Tried to relax a bit in India and went to visit Kerala - it was lovely. Traveled to Manipur, a conflict ridden area of India between Bangladesh and Myanmar. Made some new friends. Had my heart broken when one of them died.

Traveled to Haiti - very intense and media impacted conflict - funniest memory, sitting between the Scientologists and the Mexican Coast Guard in the UN cafeteria and hoping for sitings of Sean Penn and his machete and gun walking around the Petionville Golf Club like the Sheriff of an old western town.

Difficult trip back to South Carolina - my first one since my father's funeral. Good to see Alyson, friends from home, and the kitties. So sad to learn that George, my dad's cat is very sick and won't be with us much longer. Wish I would have hugged him more.

Volcano eruptions closing European airspace meant that I got to spend more time with my friend Rick who was stranded here - we went cycling in the tulip fields and had a great time

Skipped Queen's Day this year and went to Edinburgh to see the town - hiked on Arthur's Seat, ate too many oysters, drank whisky, and had a grand old time

Am taking some time off to recuperate from two very hard years - my father's sickness and death, the crappy economy that has impacted my sister, nonstop travel to some of the world's crappiest places, working on sexual violence in conflict in a not very supportive world, and spending all my time doing ANYTHING but looking after myself has taken its toll.  I'm going to be in Amsterdam for a few months trying to re-center myself.

I've been thinking of taking up some new physical activity - rowing/hiking/climbing/tango/tennis/karate/salsa.... any recommendations?