Winning IvyPrez Idol Can Get you Far

25 Mar

Well, he was voted IvyPrez Idol a year ago by IvyGate, and this year he may be World Bank Prez.

Impressive climb. He has done a few things before, during, after though, at least according to his bio on the Dartmouth website.

Mgwirizano Trust, World Bank Project in Southern Malawi.

It made me reminisce about my time at the World Bank, and the highlight of my time in Washington, ironically, is my trip to Malawi in September and October 2007.

Back when I created this blog, I just posted the emails I had sent to my friends during that assignment but I have finally “blogified” it. Photos photos!

During my very first trip to Africa, I visited Agnes in Kampala in 2006. I had worked with her for about six months when she had to go back to Uganda (her development assignment had ended). She invited all of us to visit her, and I can never say no. It was my birthday gift that year: two weeks to risk my life in a raft on the Nile, roam the plains with lions and giraffes, tan on a beach on an island Lake Victoria, explore Kampala, and eat. Oh and spend time with Agnes!

The following year, I created a training and told my boss I would have to give it to my African colleagues in Africa, no other way. Somehow I convinced him, and spent 10 days in Benin teaching two groups of colleagues how to maintain their websites. I didn’t have time to explore much but we took a taxi to see the town,  and we went to the famous voodoo market… except that my friends were more interested in buying gold!

The food was fantastic and I had beautiful views of the ocean from my hotel. Unfortunately, I was strongly encouraged to never go on the beach, unless I wanted to be mugged. Mmm.

Zeria’s Office in Lilongwe

My third trip was to Malawi. A staff exchange for two months: Zeria came to Washington and I went to Lilongwe.

I also took advantage of my location to hop to Cape Town, and created a work reason to go to Mozambique.

Work-wise, there is nothing like a field experience and it was a fantastic opportunity for me.

Green House, Korean Lodge and Restaurant, simply “home” in Malawi.

I lived in a lodge owned by South Koreans (oh the food!!) and spend hours in their beautiful garden. The food outside of home though was a struggle.

My colleague Ingrid saved me by taking me to nice places, especially a pizzeria!

I also spent quality time at the neighbour’s house watching rugby, the World Cup was going strong (South Africa won). The neighbour was actually my boss and his in-laws were there as well — all Australians, which made for fun evenings.

They told me to visit them in Australia, and I said it would be great if I could make my way to the Pacific in 2011 for the next Rugby Cup World. Well I did: I spent three months in New Zealand cheering the Irish, and then the All Blacks!

I have been in touch with them by email but have yet to actually visit. Something else on my to-do list, which never seems to end… probably a good thing!

Anyway, let’s see if this IvyPrez Idol can win the nomination and rock the World Bank! I have yet to see Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and José Antonio Ocampo sing… maybe that’s the way the Executive Directors (reps from member countries) should make a decision… hihihi!


4 Responses to “Winning IvyPrez Idol Can Get you Far”

  1. oce 15 J0000003Australia/Sydney 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    The competition has to be able to sing AND dance!

    • travelling tastebud 15 J0000003Australia/Sydney 2011 at 8:50 am #

      Hihihi! To please the BRICS countries they should try a few dances (Bollywood type, Russian, African, a samba) and sing in Chinese. To please Europeans, they may need to add a waltz and maybe showcase some French cooking skills? How I wish I could share these ideas with the Board 😉

  2. Emily He 15 J0000004Australia/Sydney 2011 at 12:24 am #

    Wow Janique! You certainly have done some fascinating field “work”! I hope my career can take me to as many beautiful places as yours, but actually, I think it’s you as a person who makes these trips happen. So I guess it’s really up to me to make it happen…

    • travelling tastebud 15 J0000004Australia/Sydney 2011 at 4:44 pm #

      And you will make it happen 🙂 My first great trips took place when I was in my late twenties… It took me a while to figure out how to use the system!

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