Finally, pictures of what we actually do and where we live. As described before, we are just inside the second gate to the UN compound. Usually anyone going into the compound requires ID but we have been fenced off with the visitor registration area so that outside NGOs may walk in, after be checked at the first gate, without needing to get UN ID.
Without having a compass, our door faces slightly south of east and our elevation here in Muzaffarabad is around 700 meters (2300 ft). I have other coordinates if interested but I will not post those.
We have two green tents that are about 16 ft x 14 ft placed end to end. The insides are white and are insulated with some sort of batting. What is interesting, our “locally” found tents retain heat better than the imported UN tents.
The front tent is the Internet café with table running the full length of both sides. The left one contains (from left to right) the printer, five “public” laptops, and our satellite transceiver, wireless router and network switch.
On the other side are where I work and we have 3 network connections for those coming in with their own laptops and two phones that provide free service to the U.S. and Canada. The internet access and phones have been such a morale booster and many of the workers are able to do critical parts of their work with these tools. For example, often doctors need meds that are not easily available and they are able to contact team members that are traveling to the area to bring the meds.
CRF Medical Team Activity
At times there is standing room only even with 12 chairs available. Like tonight we had a team of South African pilots contacting home.
The back room is mainly for storage. This is where our supplies, suitcase, and bedding go. We also make fresh coffee back here since we can only get instant at the Canteen. There is also a UPS back here and a generator that we have just in case.
The far back corner of our tent
The front of the back tent
Some time after 9:00 pm we encourage the stragglers to finish up so we can stack the chairs and put out our thin mattresses and sleeping bags and get into bed. Once there, I usually finish up writing a blog or chatting with family in my sleeping bag.
Well, it is that time so I am finishing up. Feel free to contact me if you have questions or just want to say “hi”.
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