Sunday, March 16, 2008

Not Your Average Week in the Office

Hotel before deployment. Why couldn't we rescue someone from here?

Mix together The Apprentice, Survivor and Lost and you've got my week in Nicaragua. The challenge was to learn how to aid foreign nationals in a disaster situation. To accomplish this, 24 colleagues and I were dropped onto an island, split into two teams ("A Team" and "Knickers") and put through a variety of scenarios.

Would you trust someone who wears a hat like that?

Day One: 3:30am deployment time, passing through complicated immigration, setting up an operations center complete with satellite internet, taking a missing persons report from frantic parents and drafting press lines.

We took these boats around to another side of the island. "The sea was angry my friends." The waves were so big that I got soaked from head to toe by the time we arrived at our final destination.

All good ops centers need a flag. "The sun never sets..."

Day Two: searching for victims at hospitals and morgues, holding a press conference, telling someone their loved one died and sleeping in tents.

Doesn't this remind you of the view from Jolli Lodge?

Lovely flora and fauna! You could hear monkeys in the trees, but I didn't see any.

Day Three: evacuation procedures ahead of a natural disaster


The exercise was phenominal and frustating, terrific and terrifying just as I imagine a real deployment would be. I pray we aren't needed but now feel ready if we are.

More on Nicaragua tomorrow...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the hat is loverly!!
So does the US have a similar deployment team for us Americans?
I sure hope so!
Love ya Mom oxoxox

12:25 PM  
Blogger Lexy said...

your job is awesome.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Yes, it was a lovely hat...and came in handy against the strong Nicaraguan sun!

Not sure about the US team. Not sure about the Germans either, but I know our neighbors to the north are thinking about it.

8:50 PM  
Blogger Surprised Suburbanite said...

Absolutely awesome - you're right - the beach does look like Jolli Lodge . . .

What a killer experience!

We're pretty proud of you.


11:16 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

If you do actually have to do this some day and end up saving some British lives, can you be knighted by the Queen??

Because the Nicaraguan coast looks just like Whale Back and Lake Michigan in a little boat can soak you too, perhaps you could suggest that the next retreat be held at Jolli-Lodge. I am sure some of the Jolliffe kids would be willing to be your actors :)

Love ya!

2:52 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Yes, a knighthood would be nice (though Americans can't use the title:-( )

I was totally thinking that the next simulation should take place on South Manitou!

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many times do I have to ask you to quit referencing Leelanau in this blog? We don't want everybody in the world overrunning our pleasant peninsula!


10:19 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

Fair enough:-) But it's hard not too. Being on the shores of Lake Nicaragua gave me my first Leland feeling of the year. June 28 is d-day this year-- 3 months and 1 week to go!!

When is Charlotte going to stick her toes in? It's a Michigan baptism:-)

10:58 AM  

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