Work

I’ve completed my second day with the U.N. Development Program or, as they spell it, Programme. I’m working on two projects: the U.N. Global Compact, which is an effort to get businesses to promote positive change by adhering to 10 principles encompassing labor standards, human rights, environmental protection, and anti-corruption; and the Growing Sustainable Businesses Initiative, which seeks to promote small- and medium-sized enterprise growth as a tool for achieving pro-poor development and achieve the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals. So far, I’ve traveled to Fier for a quality management seminar; had two long lunches; attended a leisurely meeting; read some…

Happy Birthday, Kosova

So it turns out that Kosova and I now share the same birthday – February 17. Abby and I pondered this during the weekend, when we went with our Albanian doctor friends (Dritan C. and Dritan M.) and their wives (Albana and Elsa) to Llogara and Himara in the south of the country. We set out in the afternoon to battle the traffic along the Durrës highway to reach the coast and then turn southward. We made it the Adriatic in a reasonable amount of time, but the trip southward was, to be honest, disgusting. After we left Durrës and…

A bad day for dogs; other things

I took Cooper to the vet today for his bimonthly worm pills, a nail-clipping, and to have a few scrapes looked at. (While he doesn’t have worms, it turns out that all puppies should have deworming pills every two months as a preventative measure; and nail-clipping is the only grooming that our short-haired dog needs.) However, Cooper associates his veterinarian visits with injections and poking and prodding, so he doesn’t cooperate, and he fought the vet’s assistant as she tried to clip his nails, and as a result she nicked his foot – twice – with the clippers. He cried,…

Amsterdam

We’re back from Amsterdam after a five-day trip. The biggest challenge of the trip was the actual getting there part, since we chose to fly Alitalia. We’d heard that Alitalia was notorious for losing luggage, so we carried our bags, but apparently their plane maintenance isn’t a lot better. We had arrived with plenty of time for a 5.35 AM flight; found parking easily; checked in smoothly; boarded quickly; and had great seats at the front of the plane. At 5.35 the captain announced that we were ready to go except for “a small technical problem” that they would fix…