Sophia's Peace Work

Monday, April 28, 2008

My peaches ...

Was getting some suggestive SMS messages recently from a Kurdish guy, but then they seemed to have stop.

Reminds me of the words to a Blossom Dearie song,
"If you don't like my peaches, baby, why do you shake my tree?
Get out of my orchard, baby, let my peach tree be."

Protect the Marshes: Line them with clay & coat them in wax!

At a recent ministry meeting a representative of a Baghdad ministry (who shall remain nameless to protect their honor) came up with a novel approach on how to protect the marshes from drying out. In all seriousness he proposed to coat the bottom of the marshes with clay and cover the surface of the marshes with a thin layer of wax to stop their evaporation.

This individual is proported to have said, "If you like the idea, I can do some research and draw up a fuller proposal."

Forgetting the fact that such a proposal would kill all the biota of the marshes (something this individual, a chemical engineer, apparently had failed to consider) one wonders who would consider such an action as being even remotely feasible?

Rival Environmental Groups? What could be more asinine?

About a year ago, a senior project manager split from our organization here in Iraq and took a portion of our funding with him. Since that time we've heard that he is starting a "rival" group to do the same things we do. Periodically, some of our staff disappear and crop up working for the former senior project manager. Most recently when this happened, one of our staff was in communication with the former senior project manager's wife (also a former employee who had left with the project manager ... a young woman who ended up marrying the much older man).

I wish I could have heard that actual conversation. The story of it has taken on a life of its own and the rumor mill around here can take a simple statement and turn it into something quite extraordinary. In this case, the story was that during the conversation, the staff who had recently disappeared was sitting right next to the senior project manager's wife during the phone conversation. They were in a western country and the wife said over the phone (of course I'm not sure of the exact words ...), "Yes, that's right, we've got him ... and we've got two more of your guys but we will let you figure out who they are."

Could something so ... so ... kindergarten, really be true? Who could say such a stupid thing? Why would anyone want to create competition in the work of trying to help the environment? It's one thing to have professional disagreements, but to act like children in this way is bizarre.

In the end, as long as something of value comes out of the senior project manager's work, who cares about this petty stuff? It is all just smoke and mirrors. It is the work of trying to do something useful for the environment (an incredibly hard task) that is the only important thing. Fortunately, my boss is not falling to this kind of level and has always spoken about keeping to the higher road. That's all you can do. Do the best work you can, hoping that it will help and let it and your actions speak for themselves.