I was in Brindisi last week, for work. Brindisi is in the southeastern tip of Italy. It was an important natural harbour since way back, even during Roman times. They actually built a Roman highway (the Apia Antica), all the way from Rome to Brindisi. Nowadays, there is a bit of marine trade, several yacht harbours, a station for the Italian Navy and Coastguard, and a gateway for ferries to Montenegro, Albania and Greece.
So when you walk around town, you see a lot of shops where they sell tickets to the Eastbound ferries, or for cruise ships passing by. The 'passing' tourists never stay very long, apart from an overnight in town before or after a ferry trip... It is also much to my surprise so many of the local people speak English. Very contrary to Rome, which is much more of a megapolis.. Weird..
Brindisi feels very different from Rome. Much more 'southern', with a bit of a 'Balkans' flair to it. On the left you see one of the main promenades early in the morning.. One morning, the promenade was blocked by a garbage truck.. The drivers were having coffee and left the truck in the middle of the street... Everything goes at an easy pace here...
Brindisi is an important logistics base for the UN. It is the main support base for the UN Peace Keepers, where they hold their worldwide stocks of logistics equipment, tools, etc... For us -we are very different and separate from the UN Peace Keeping Operations- it is one of the five humanitarian response bases we have across the globe, next to Ghana, Panama, Dubai and Malaysia, where we procure, store, manage, and ship logistics support materials on behalf of several UN agencies and other humanitarian organisations. And that is where my current project comes in. So you see that humanitarian work comes in many types and flavours (see also this post)... You have the aspect of Enrico and Cyprien, in the stories and pictures from the past days... But you also have the part with the 'machine behind' the field work. And for us, it is mainly the logistics support, the emergency support, the preparedness to react in no matter what humanitarian crisis, anywhere in the world, at any time..