Life in Geneva – La vie genevois

I am currently in Geneva for my briefings. I’ve been having fun in the evenings with friends from the old days at Bunyip in Montreal, Steve and Sima. During the day, I go around meeting people and getting verbal briefings, and doing self-study with various materials. Yesterday my biggest problem was that I was overwhelmed with reference material and couldn’t figure out what to look at.

So far I’ve had a “general advice” briefing from Kath in New York, a meeting with the PR guys in New York (they are getting these updates; Hi Michelle and Michael!), a meeting about the political and program context in West Africa, a meeting about the purchasing system, and a briefing on how the IT and communications stuff works. My temporary office is in the logistics department, so I’m learning from them by osmosis, but I still need to make time to talk to some of the subject matter experts in detail, like how to maintain Nimba’s water system, what to know about the generators in use in Liberia, and how to maintain the fleet of vehicles.

The logistician I am replacing, Kenneth, was en-route to Geneva yesterday, but his airplane broke down in Dakar, and he got stuck there last night. He’s supposed to show up today. He’ll be super busy with all the human-resources debriefing stuff when he first gets here, but hopefully I’ll have enough time to digest his handover report and then ask questions. I think I’ll have some major homework to do tonight, then I’ll meet with him tomorrow.

My plane flight leaves on Sunday morning about 8 am. I get in to Roberts Field outside Monrovia around 5 pm, then it is a 1 hour trip in from the airport to Monrovia. I’m going to be carrying a bunch of baggage: two satellite phones that need to be moved down to Liberia, a bunch of care packages for colleagues and other mail from headquarters to the field. I’ll spend a couple days there getting the lay of the land, then head up to Nimba.


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