Posted by: wes | May 25, 2008

A few words on Epicentre

As I told you in my previous post I might be sent to Niger with Epicentre so for the ones that it might be interested here is a brief description about them for any further information about the field of research or other action carried out by them you can also see the site

Epicentre is a non-profit organisation created in 1987 by Médecins Sans Frontières, which groups health professionals specialised in public health and epidemiology. In 1996, Epicentre became a World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Research in Epidemiology and Response to Emerging Diseases.

Epicentre’s team carries out operational research studies from its headquarters in Paris, locations in Geneva, Brussels and Kampala, and a field research base in Mbarara, Uganda. Epicentre also offers its expertise to organisations requesting short-term field epidemiology studies in developing countries.

Epicentre designs and organises training sessions for Médecins Sans Frontières and other partners in public health and epidemiology. Epidemiologists from Epicentre also give guest lectures and organise training modules in the field of applied epidemiology as part of university or diploma courses. Lastly, Epicentre has developed an expertise in the development and field installation of software applications for the management of health information.

Posted by: wes | May 23, 2008

News from the front

I received a phone call from MSF asking me if I was interested in working with Epicentre (I’ll put the link and some info later) as a logadmin in Maradi, Niger

Looks like a great job, really interesting, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed, if it work I’ll be in Niger in August  😉

Posted by: wes | May 23, 2008

Working for the dark side of the force

I am perhaps exaggerating but it is a bit the way a feel now I work…..I work    that’s hard to say but I work for a Investment company that does Forex trading (foreign currency exchange)
So  a stuck at a desk , dressed in suit and tie, talking big money with a bunch of stuck up….hum should probably not go on  well any way at least It’s a decent job….no well at least I have a decent salary….

And also enjoying the comfortable life here and a normal couple relation

Posted by: wes | March 18, 2008

March 2008

back home at last after 6 months in Iran , interesting experience , I’ll be in Switzerland for a few months so I won’t write anything but see you soon ….in Africa


What to say about Esfahan?????

Beautiful, amazing, ancient, friendly? well yes Esfahan is all that at the same time, the incredible bridges, the Imam square , the palaces and the mosques,

I have for the first time in Iran had the impression of being in the Middle East, its history, tradition and atmosphere, bringing back to me all the stories about the Silk Road, Shrine and Khosro, the Shah Abas etc.

I won’t go into details about the city’ s history, others than me will give you an exhaustive list of dates and facts.

As for the sites to see…well again open a book or even browse internet you’ll find plenty of thing, but if I had to give you my favourite places I’d be far from being original, Sie o she bridge (the 33 arches bridge) Khadju bridge smaller but so elegant and well designed and of course the nesf e jehan square or Imam square (some people even still call it Shah’s square) with its magnificent mosques and the enormous bazaar, where you’ll easily spend your money in the numerous handicraft shops, purchasing the famous Persian miniatures, enamel work and jewellery.

I would also advise you to see the Shetel o sotun place where you’ll be able of seeing wonderful fresco, some of them incredibly liberal comparing to Iran’s current atmosphere, women and men dancing and drinking wine.

In the bazaar, you might be tempted by carpets, they are much cheaper than in Europe but as for every thing in the bazaar: hackle, bargain, and take a tour in a few shops before buying

A big big cheers for Frank Murphy Australian chap that I met in the Armenian church and spent most of the time strolling in the bazaar and the streets;

Also thanks to Majid and his girlfriend from Hospitality club that took me around the city giving interesting information and with whom I spent a wonderful timeesfahan04.jpg esfahan02.jpg esfahan01.jpg esfahan05.jpg esfahan06.jpg

PS sorry for the bad quality and numbers of pictures my camera is dying it was impossible top take good pictures

Posted by: wes | March 18, 2008

January 2008…..Tehran again

Third time in Tehran and same impression that before: Tehran is enormous, ugly, polluted and very crowded.

You spend endless ours in the traffic and there is not much to see except a few museums and parks nevertheless I have promised my self to have another go at it ……… time

Posted by: wes | March 18, 2008

December 2007……..KERMANSHAH

Ilam airport being quite small, I am often asked to go and pick up new expatriate staff in Keremanshah, about 4 hours drive from Mehran. So for once I took a bit of time to visit.


Kermanshah, capital of the Iranian Kurd region, is a reasonably populated city but is amazingly stretched, there is not much to say about the city itself, although is an ancient city there is not much left of it, and it is a rather dull place.

Have to say there are still a few good points on Kermanshah,

· The people are really friendly and it is difficult to be unseen in Kermanshah, it was difficult to go anywhere without having people approaching and asking questions, most of the people do not speak a word of English but the rare people that do will rush towards you to speak.

· The sweets, Kermanshah has a lot of different sweet specialties that are really worth buying

· The parks and more important the surrounding nature: mountains every where, opportunities for those who want to hike and climb

· The TAKH E BOSTAN: three shrines of Ancient Persian kings, the site is not very big and you will probably not need more than 20 minutes to visit all of it but is you go close to Kermanshah it is worth seeing the complex carved in the rock is divided in 3 parts, the first group of carving done under the reign of Shapur II (310-379) showing his coronation and his victory over the roman emperor Julian, Shapur is receiving the ring of power from Ahura Mazda, on his left is represented Mithra

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The second group of carving called the small Iwan represents Shapur III with His Father Sahpur II.


The 3rd part called the big Iwan, the most spectacular, one of the master piece of the Sassanid period shows probably Khosro II (591-628) on his horse, surrounded by Ahura Mazda and the goddess Anahita, the top is completed by two victory angel and the sides are covered by beautiful scene of hunting…

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PS sorry for the bad pic and for winter travelers: Kermanshah is in the mountains and can be really cold during winter. That’s for the weather information….

Oh and by the way do not expect a good choice of touristic facilities, the prices are the same but the service and quality is quite disappointing

Posted by: wes | March 18, 2008

no posting for a while

sorry but due to very rare internet access I will not write any posting for a while exepte the following one

best regards

Posted by: wes | December 14, 2007

NIZNAYO or tschikidem for the ones living in Armenia

For Lilit Pilotsky Robertovna and all other people (Jeff that means you to) sometimes confronted with soviet style administration

I was going trough Internet a few articles in different newspapers or magazines lest by the expatriate team when I fell on this one:

Russian Mayor Bans Phrase ‘I Don’t Know’
MOSCOW (AP) – The mayor of a Siberian oil town has ordered his bureaucrats to stop using expressions such as “I don’t know” and “I can’t.” Or look for another job.

Alexander Kuzmin, the 33-year-old mayor of Megion, has banned these and 25 other phrases as a way to make his administration more efficient, his spokeswoman said Tuesday.

“It’s a suggestion to the staff that they should think before saying something,” Oksana Shestakova said by telephone. “To say VI don’t know’ is the same as admitting your helplessness.”

To reinforce the ban, a framed list of the banned expressions has been hanging on the wall next to Kuzmin’s office for the past two weeks, Shestakova said.

Some of the other prohibited phrases are “What can we do?” “It’s not my job,” “It’s impossible,” “I’m having lunch,” “There is no money,” and “I was away/sick/on vacation.”
“Town officials must work out mechanisms to solve and remove problems, not to avoid them.”
Officials who disobey the ban while in the mayor’s office “will near the moment of their departure,” the statement said.

Providing the mayor with wrong or incomplete information, or being late in reporting important information will be considered an attempt to undermine his work, it said.

Anna Borovikova, the mayor’s chief of staff, said the novel approach has improved discipline.
“Before, it was so easy to say I don’t know.’ Now before reporting to the mayor we prepare several proposals on how one or another problem can be solved,”

Posted by: wes | December 14, 2007

Ahhh Iranian newspapers!

Difficult to read them in Farsi so I usually get 2 newspapers in the next city in English. I get them with a few days delays…not a lot of people read Iranian news papers in English and they are strongly linked with the official messages passed by the government, to say that they are pure propaganda might be exaggerated but it is true that they usually follow the government line any way I decided to sometimes share a few article with you…

So enjoy ☺ ☺

This week I found a article about women……in the police

Iran has decided to set up a police station in Tehran run by women and dealing exclusively with offences committed by women, women police stations already exists in two other cities of northeast of Iran, Mashad for example,

Previously most women in the police forces were dealing with administration but over the past few years their work has be more and more involved in the enforcement of Islamic rules in the treatment of female criminal……well until there no surprise the article the rest is up to you and I’ll simply quote the journalist

“The most considerable presence of policewomen has been highlighted in the county’s continuing crackdown on those flouting the Islamic dress code
Thousands of women, have been warned by Joint crew of male and female officers for wearing tight, short coat and skimpy headscarves has warned thousands of women this year”

You’ll notice perhaps the picture illustrating the article: on

One hand the article speaks about women criminal and you can see a female police unite armed with machine guns on the other hands the article emphasizes that most of the work will be done on the dressing code…. a job that requires of course heavy armed support, some of the women wearing “unacceptable” cloths could be very dangerous…. I mean they might bite or even scratch the poor police officers ☺ ☺ ☺


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