Week 9

Talk about a busy week! Like I mentioned before, there are some extra people in the office right now to help us get ready for several upcoming events. The first, and major thing on everybody’s mind, is the audit. Our projects keep moving forward at a great pace; however, September is now only one month away and much more of our efforts must be devoted to the end of year preparations. It has been an interesting experience to be a part of this process in a multi-national organization such as SEDA. There are some obvious clashes of what an expat such as myself would expect and the essential realities of the audit process between several nationalities. Through all the difficulties of getting ready, I believe SEDA to be in an excellent position to finish strong and get their extended stay.

            The second major project occurring right now is the up-coming Year-5 Work Planning meeting. The meeting will be held next Friday at the Jumeirah Bilgah Beach Hotel in Baku. The Hotel is one of the most premier resorts in the country and we are bringing in all of our personnel from the country, ministry officials, and heads of partner organizations. The actual Year-5 Work Plan is about 95% done. The focus of the meeting is to coordinate the few remaining points and to confirm and communicate with our partners the intent and direction of our work together over the next fiscal year.

            Outside of work, I spent most of the weekend out of the city and at the beach again. The weather was a tad bit on the windy/inhospitable side, but that didn’t keep the sun out or the water from being warm. If anything, the wind made the beach a bit nicer since far fewer people showed up. The Beer House restaurant over by Flag Square also proved to be a fantastic place to escape for a bit and enjoy a European environment and menu (with some fantastic Belgian brews!).