Bazaar Bonanza

Every year the UN Women’s Guild in Geneva holds a bazaar to raise funds for children and showcases flavors and products from around the world. Since it was my first UNWG bazaar I was excited to take my camera to capture some of the moments. What I didn’t realize was how popular and busy the event was. The bazaar took place over three floors of the convention area. The 2nd floor was where the food was served and it was PACKED! so much so that it was almost impossible to navigate through all the hungry people – we actually had to take backroom corridors to escape the munching mob. Overall, a great experience and intro into the international and diverse community of the UN in Geneva.  Visit the UN Women’s Guild website to find out more about this charitable group and what they do.

Sightseeing in English is a weird feeling

Burger at midnight - not the best idea

One of the strangest feelings I had when we first came to NYC was being a tourist in an English-speaking country. It was strange to not have to argue, bargain, or explain myself in another language other than English. I was so use to trying to converse in another language (very limited French, Thai, Tetun, Bahasa Indonesian) that being in an ALL English-speaking country was hard to get use to at the beginning. It’s amazing not to have to try to find words, organize your thoughts/sentences/phrases, or even use hand signs when trying to go to the toilet, order food, buy stuff… It’s a strange feeling and I guess it takes a bit of getting use to (or adjusted)… I wonder if this is “reverse culture shock”?

There’s so much to do in NYC that trying to find out what’s going just gives me a headache… I guess it’s a exercise in patience and decision-making. No matter how much you think you know NYC, there are always new things to discover… just check out Time Out New York or NYCGO.com if you need to plan on doing anything in the Big Apple.

Day 4 (#GISDay) – It's all about the data!

Timor-Leste Census 2010

More and more people keep attending the afternoon seminars… including today’s presentation by the National Statistics Directorate of Timor-Leste. One of the key things in this 10-year old country is to get a better understanding about its population and what are the challenges to its growth. Timor-Leste will be conducting its national census next year in July 2010.

GIS and mapping hand-outs

Interest is growing for the event, but it’s too bad that the event is only for one week. There needs to be more done in terms of getting the government, universities/schools, and the international community more aware of GIS and mapping and how everyone can benefit from it – hopefully all the material we have available will get around and get people interested. It’s all about collecting and analyzing data… poor data = poor analysis = poor planning/development… GIS and maps can help visualize this.

Day 1 (#GISDay) – Success in Timor-Leste!

Coinciding with GIS Day, the first day of the GIS/mapping event in Timor-Leste (With maps, we build the future of Timor-Leste) was a success. Given this type of event is the first of its kind in the country, the opening day went smoothly… although there were some bumps along the way as I expected.

But overall the turnout was great… in the morning, we had lots of people out from the Geographic Information Group (GIG) showing their support. Even a group of women, like from “Sex and the City”, came around because they wanted to show their friend, who was celebrating her birthday, a good time and to visit the “new” exhibition at Casa Europa. The highlights of the day was a visit by the Deputy Special Rep. for the UN Secretary General (my boss) and the Deputy Head of the European Commission. Even the US Ambassador sneaked in for a peak, who when I asked how he knew about the event told me, “Well, you invited me!”

US Ambassador taking a look at the large floor map