SERVIR – A World Travelin’ Recap
(cont. from the SERVIR post found here) After five countries (more if you count layovers) in three weeks, it’s no surprise that we’ve come back with hours’ worth of amazing footage and dozens of new friends! Our first stop was Nairobi, Kenya to visit Regional Centre For Mapping Resource For Development (RCMRD). Not only did we get to feed giraffes (ah!), we also stayed at the fantastic Safari Park Hotel & Casino. Drinks, dancing…it was a good way to start our trip. Next was Bangladesh. Hmmm…if you ask each Jpixx member, you’ll get a different reaction and description for each one of us. Suffice it to say our trip was “interesting.” If you’ve ever found yourself being prodded by a one-armed man in the middle of a busy city street during rush hour – then you’re getting close 🙂 While exploring Dhaka our first day, we were ambushed by a hoard of people asking for gifts and money. We weren’t in fear for our lives but let’s just say “The Walking Dead” was brought up more than once. Eventually, we found safe haven in the confines of a nearby shop. We also made friends with the folks at the Institute of Water Modelling and the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre. Even though everyone in Bangladesh was fasting for Ramadan, the IWM was so hospitable in providing meals for each member of our team. After just a couple days in Bangladesh, we headed off to Nepal with a quick layover in India. We may have only had an hour between flights but rest assured that we snagged some Indian souvenirs (HELLO scarves!!). And that wasn’t the end of our scarf adventures! But first, we ran all around Nepal getting video footage at local government ministries. See this picture above? That’s right after Jon got bit by a mosquito….in the EYE!! We know the Jpixx logo has an eyeball but come on guys. We couldn’t have gotten around to all these places without our local contact at International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Chimi Seldon! Seriously, from shopping locales to GREAT chai locations, she was our go-to resource. Speaking of chai, please proceed with caution should you enter Nepal. “Addiction” may or not be an accurate word to describe the love that Stacy and Lis developed for this amazing drink. They even chugged fresh boiled chai in shot glasses on their way out to a forest! Speaking of forests, when in Nepal, please visit the Knowledge Park at Godavari Forest! We found remedies for cancer, high blood pressure, and a whole slew of other maladies. Traveler beware: umbrellas are needed to combat falling leeches. After a few lovely days in Nepal, we headed to our final destination: Bangkok, Thailand! Luckily, the conference we were to film for the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center took place right in our hotel! On our first night, we couldn’t believe how cheap the dishes on the menu were. Surely something that costs $4 must be small, right? We ordered lots of dishes to share and then began to regret it as giant dish after dish was served to us in a massive feast. Yes, things really are that cheap. We also visited a restaurant called Cabbages and Condoms! Ok, we know what you’re thinking but it’s actually a public service restaurant. Everyone in Thailand was already buying cabbages but condoms were severely underused. So what’s the solution? Combine the two! And we road in an ox cart! AND we rode elephants! Sure there were a few luggage snafus along the way, but overall our trip was unbelievable. Major thanks to DAI for selecting us and the incredible Stacy Whittle for putting up with our crazy.