A few posts ago, I promised to share some of the more bizarre moments I’ve spent here.
The first three months I was here, I was employed by the IMF, and my role was funded by the UNDP, which stands for the UN Development Program. I think this is why I somehow fell within the rules set up by the UN for travel so, in July, when I had to schedule my first trip to Trinidad for a meeting, I received an email instructing me to go online and complete UN Advanced Security Training in the Field.
Now, I had heard that Trinidad was pretty famous for its crime, but it turns out that, along with Kingston, Jamaica and Haiti, anyone working for a UN-related project in the Caribbean needs to do this security training before they brave travel to these destinations. You can imagine that this made me feel pretty good about my first visit to Trinidad. I was expecting maybe that it would tell me to find out the more dangerous parts of the city to keep my distance from. Maybe a few handbag protection rules. Or perhaps a few pointers on self-defence. But noooooo…
I had to spend around 4 hours doing my online training, all of which was to assist UN staff on peace-keeping and other missions into volatile areas in places like Africa and Asia. I learned how to:
- avoid being kidnapped,
- to use a walkie-talkie,
- to liaise with the military, and
- to tell directions using only the sun and my watch.
All of which I’ve since forgotten.