Day 7 – 14th May – Bangkok, Thailand
The days are starting to merge into one. We got a cab to the UN as usual accompanied by Raji and Javit. Our cabbie did not know the way and so Raji directed using her in-built GPS (wish I had one of them). Started at 8 and got down to business getting the W3 mapping operational. By lunchtime we had produced some maps which were sent to Myanmar for a high-level meeting with the UN staff there. During that time we were also tasked to provide a ‘map-pack’ for the British Embassy, another press pack and field maps for UNICEF who are going in-country tomorrow.
In-between programming tasks we got about 10 maps printed off the A0 plotter for them and a helpful assistant packaged them up for us. We will probably never know how they were used or by whom but it is gratifying work.
The OCHA office is continually busy and there’s a good deal of hot-desking going on. The printers and copiers are going full tilt and there a constant supply of sweets and snacks (and occasionally beer) brought in by various staff. Philip and I are now operating Borg-like, him setting up layer files and definition queries whilst I create the maps.
The rest of the day went in a blur as we hurried to get the W3 programming finished. We heard today that 2 more volunteers will come out on Friday and Brendan, director of the HIC (Humanitarian Information Centre) has promised to take us all out for dinner! We have been nowhere yet except the airport, hotel and UN so that should be exciting!
Finally, just as we were getting ready to leave at 8pm, we were visited by Sebastian from OCHA who wants our W3 maps for a meeting tomorrow with the highest levels of the UN. An honour indeed.
Sorry these are getting shorter – there’s only so many times you can say ‘we made maps’ in an interesting way.