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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!

Jpixx in Nepal

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.

Headscarf Girl

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.

Institute of Water Modelling

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!

Group Shot Nepal

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.

Chimi Seldon ICIMOD

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.

Godavari Forest

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!

ADPC Presentation

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!

Cabbages Condoms Thailand

And we road in an ox cart!

Ox Cart Thai

AND we rode elephants!

Thai Elephant Ride

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.

Girls in Scarves


From Space to Village…to Village

If you’ve been keeping up with our Facebook page at all, you know that we’ve been doing a bit of country hopping on behalf of our newest film project.

SERVIR is a collaboration of NASA and USAID to make satellite images practical and accessible among local countries, ministries, universities and a multitude of other stakeholders. Got a deforestation problem? SERVIR can help by interpreting satellite images. Flooding? SERVIR. Climate problems?…you get the point.

SERVIR Conference

It’s a project we fully support and believe in, so we packed up and began traveling. First stop was the U.S. capital at the USAID office! We spoke with Carrie Stokes, mother of SERVIR, and Jenny Frankel-Reed, the superwoman who keeps it at top speed.USAID Film Interview

Then we did a little space exploration in Alabama with our new friends at NASA. MAJOR thanks and a huge shoutout to Tim Hall, Director of Communications at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and an overall amazing human being.

US Space and Rocket

That’s not to leave out the wonderful Paula Link, NASA project coordinator and the rest of the SERVIR team in Huntsville. A highlight of our trip was the opportunity to interview Dan Irwin, father of SERVIR.

Dan Irwin SERVIR

From there we jetted across the world to Nairobi, Kenya; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Kathmandu, Nepal; and Bangkok, Thailand – with a few fun layovers in between at Dubai, Delhi, Tokyo…you can just call us citizens of the world.


Keep following our blog for more updates on our trip!