Rumble: So... Where Did I End Up?

I have been working as an aid worker since 1994. I have been based in Angola, Malawi, Ivory Coast, DRC, Uganda, Kosovo, Pakistan and my last assignment was as the director of our office in Dubai.
I worked in and travelled through more than one hundred countries. I've seen the best and the worst. Wars, floodings, earth quakes. Have been shot at, and been surprised by beautiful sunsets. I enjoyed the good company of close friends, and have lost some in shootings and slaughters... I built a city, negotiated with presidents, ministers and drunk police men. Managed projects of US$30 million, and at other times, struggled for a budget to buy two screw drivers...

I got so addicted to the excitement of the job, got used to the adrenaline kick, that few things at work make my heart tick faster anymore.... I have become a junkie, I admit. An adrenaline junkie...

When leaving on my sabbatical, I told management: "When I come back, don't give me a standard job. Give me something difficult, complex. Boredom will kill me. Challenge me."

Thirteen months later, now two weeks ago, I got my marching orders: "Fly to our headquarters in Rome and we will inform you of your job once you arrive." As I described in
an earlier post, I had no clue where they were going to send me. Timor? Darfur? Chad? Colombia? Bhutan? Chechnya? Haiti? I packed, kissed my three girls good-bye, left home and jumped in a void.

So where did I end up? Well.. They gave me the biggest challenge so far: I was asked to work at our headquarters for a while.
Why a challenge? The further from field operations and the bigger the office, the more difficult to do your work fast and effectively. Fact of life. Even in an organisation like ours, which I am proud to report, to be one of the most effective humanitarian organisations... So, now I can prove that the stuff I have been able to do in the field, I can also do at our headquarters... Talking about a challenge...

Luckily logistically, living in Rome is not like living in Rumbek-Southern Sudan... But even that part, I can make an adventure! So far I have stayed in two different places. Moving to my third (and hopefully final place), within two days. And I got wheels too! The right kind of car for the crazy traffic in Rome!

My first home: Sheraton Golf Parco de' Medici. Three nights.
Poor me.. Ah, poor me...

My second home: Residence Parco de' Medici. Five nights..
Not bad neither.. Walking distance from work.

My wheels! They did not have a 4x4 version!


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