["He only had a few minutes to talk to me, he told me about the importance of humanitarian access and I really started to think about it, and realise how important it was."]
Friday October 1st
5:30 am: The sun is coming up on a beautiful day, I have just arrived at
Charles De Gaulle Airport and now have to catch the bus then get on the metro to Bastille where the Hope International offices are. My briefing starts at
11:00am so I have plenty of time to get there.
10:55 am: Just made it to the office in time, I got pretty confused
on the metro but I'm here now. I am going to meet my human resources
contact Dominique and then she will give me my briefing schedule.
am: I have met with Dominique, signed all my contracts and now have my
identification card from Hope and two T-Shirts, it was pretty quick. I didn't
really have time to read my contract or the insurance policy (they were in French
as well) but I'm sure its cool with these guys. I don't have a bank
account in Europe so they said it is going to be a bit tough to get paid my
volunteer salary unless I start an account here. They said I can pick up my
salary as an advance when I go on leave or come back through Paris.
said that its a really busy week, with a new round of fighting in the Congo and
a flood in Asia, so I won't be able to see a lot of people for my briefing only the Humanitarian affairs officer and the logistics department who have some
stuff for me to take to Freetown. Then she said at 11:45 pm tonight I will leave
to Conakry in Guinea and then to Freetown, Sierra Leone. Everything is happening
so quick now.
On Friday in France apparently most people go home early because of the 35 hr
working week at 2:30pm. I met with the Humanitarian affairs officer Pierre he
hadn't been to Sierra Leone but knew a lot about the place. He only had a few
minutes to talk to me, he told me about the importance of humanitarian access
and I really started to think about it, and realise how important it was. He gave me some really interesting reports
and articles to read. There is heaps to read but he said to give them back by
the end of the day as I shouldn't copy them or take them into Sierra Leone
because some of the information is a bit sensitive. One of the reports was in
English, and was really interesting, so I guess I better go and give it back
before the office closes. I got some boxes from the logistics department to take
to Freetown a bit cumbersome but its all for a good cause.
We are just taxiing now to fly to Conakry on Air France AF817, I had to pay Euro
€523 in total for the excess for the boxes from logistics. I explained that I was from Hope International but they still
said I had to pay, I guess some people just don't realise the kind of life
saving humanitarian work Hope is doing. I couldn't get that much out of the ATM so
I had to use my money from my wallet and my security money. I had just bought a whole lot of stuff
for the team in Freetown and my project. I bought some magazines, chocolate and
cheese and wine. I guess I better get some sleep I
haven't really slept now for 48 hrs and it was a pretty tiring day with the
briefing and trying to process all that information.
Dave (me) Claudia