Rumbles: Writing Friends

Two of my friends started writing down some of their stories. Both work in the same "business" as I do. Our paths, our roads, crossed many years ago, and continued to overlap since then.

Ladies first: I met Marie-France (who features as the mysterious "MF" in some of my posts) about eleven years ago (in 1996) in Ivory Coast. We were first introduced by a common friend, in a bar, said "Hi", and that was it. We met two weeks later at a party, where she said "Hey, I am leaving next week, and will start to work with the World Food Programme!". I answered: "Hey coincidence, so am I!". (MF remembers me because that night I was wearing a fluorescent T-shirt saying 'Save the coral'. "You always have a soft spot for designer clothes", E. would say... hahaha).
Anyway, long story short. MF went to work in far and remote Ngara (West Tanzania), I was a few hundred kilometers further in Kampala (Uganda), and we would not speak again for about a year. One evening, I was working late in the evening, and she called in to our radio room, asking for an Email exchange (see
this post about the radio email system we developped at that time). Being the only one left in the office, I picked up the radio call, and we started talking. That was in 1998. After a few radio-talks, MF disappeared from the radar, and we met again, over Email, two years later, when she was posted in Rome and I was in Pakistan.. We have kept better contact since then... MF started two blogs, one with her stories as a humanitarian aid worker and one about her new role in life, as mum to Xinfa.

Mats (left in the picture), I met over the radio waves many many years ago, in the late eighties when he was travelling in the Pacific. He was a fanatic ham, just as I was at that time. One day he wrote me an Email saying he was interested to work in the humanitarian world, and a few weeks later, he joined us in Kampala. A classic annecdote I still pull his leg with, was just before joining, he asked if we, as UN humanitarians, were wearing uniforms... He has, we have, come a long way since then, and he features in many of my shortstories. We worked together in Uganda, started FITTEST, the UN's first emergency technical intervention team, we did many missions and emergency interventions together, to end up in Dubai together. We set up and run the WFP base in Dubai for five years. We have been complimentary in many ways. He being more the rational thinker, the one who put systems and procedures in the chaos I created, as the one running on feelings and impressions... Read Mats' travel stories here.


Marie France Bourgeois 29 October, 2007 14:41  


I had not seen this, I go to your web site from time to time whenever I have a minute because its so full, so rich and here it is, I clicked on this one today and BOUM, here I am!!!!
Funny... I do not recall the 2nd meeting in Côte d`Ivoire, but I remember the first time I met you!!!
By the way, I have left my Adventure mum blog lately but I will beef it up in the weeks to come...
Lots of love,
The mysterious MF

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