Saturday, November 25, 2006

Apple pie and evacuation management

Let me tell you the main difference between men and women. Women can multi-task.

Tonight we're hosting about 30 people for a Thanksgiving dinner. We also have intense fighting near one of our base locations. We are trying to follow which towns/villages have fallen and who controls which areas, how we would evacuate if it comes to that, and who has our vehicles. It's about as hard as trying to follow a soap opera that's updated by the minute. In one particularly amusing moment I'm up to my elbows in apple pie crust, phone tucked under my chin as I knead, and I explain to the head of OCHA how we had just been talking to one militia commander when he says to us, 'uh, can you wait a second?' Another guy takes the phone and identifies himself as being the head of another militia and declares, 'we're now in charge here and we have your vehicles.'

I relay the story and put down the phone and start making some stuffing. Another call comes in, rumours and innuendo are flying, different sides are being asked to surrender, our location is now crawling with military - it's a war. I guess this is what happens in a war. I've got a turkey to follow-up on.

I call USAID. They've got the turkey and it's dead. It's also 4pm. Dinner's at 7pm. I don't think they're going to make it but let them know that the extent of my ability to manage the world ends with simultaenous evacuation planning, vehicle negotiation, and apple pie and stuffing making. I simply cannot manage to get the turkey cooked as well. Multi-tasking, no matter your gender, only goes so far.


kate said...

Absolutely crazy.
I am laughing at your opening statement. It's SO true. Poor Matt can't even negotiate a lane change (while driving) and talk (or listen) at the same time. His limitations in this way are amazing to behold. :)
God bless and protect you all.

Jack said...

Hey Kelsey--Your blog explains why your mobile didn't work when I tried it. If it's not Chechnya, it's Darfur. No stopping you, huh? It'd be great to be back in contact. If you still have my hotmail address, drop me a line. Hope to talk to you soon. Take care, Jack

Erin said...

How did the turkey die?

Kelsey said...

Jack...sorry!! still have your previous e-mail sitting in my in-box to answer...will do any day now!!

Erin...the Turkey died in the market. It was both beautiful and delicious. We ended up having quite a dinner with 25 people, apple pie, stuffing, cranberries (who knows where those came from!!), roasted veg, potatoes, and plenty of desserts. I'm still quite amazed that we managed to pull it off...and that there were so few derogatory comments about America made that evening. :)