Happy Days!

Evening all!  Hope your day was as pleasant as mine!  Its just gone 11pm and I’m back in the guesthouse in Islamabad after a quite successful day.  We managed to get a huge big banner for Save the Children – 12ft x 6ft – stuck up on the front wall of the 2 day UN Habitat conference on Learning from Disasters…  Great location, will be seen by lots of HobNobs over the next couple of days as the conference is on, so maybe somebody will throw us a few coins so we can get building critical shelters down in Lower Sindh.

This morning was lovely and clear in Islamabad, but there really is a chill in the air… I think this cold snap seems to have hit quite a few countries recently, the day before yesterday they were saying that there was snow in Korea or something!!!

Had a good, although very long, 4 hour Technical Working Group meeting today at IOM…  amazing how long you can argue about the simplest of construction techniques!  How many engineers and architects does it take to build a shelter??? 😀  Anyway, we are getting there, slow and steady wins the race, right?

Ooooooohhh  and a couple of interesting mentions of work today!  Funny how you don’t hear anything about work when you need it, but as soon as you have a job, lots of opportunities appear?  What is that about?  It’s like when you are single you can’t find any nice blokes, but as soon as you have a nice man tucked away at home – that’s you baby – the men come out of the woodwork!  Not that you need to worry about me in Islamabad, Euan…  I don’t think I’m really what the regular Pakistani man is going for…  but my friend Jackie who helped me get the banner up tonight in the Marriott Hotel seems to be seriously attracting the male attention!  It was fantastic this evening!  We didn’t have to do anything!  We arrived in with a banner with no hammer and no nails, and Jackie asked one of the Hotel Staff if we could have a hammer and a couple of nails, a few minutes later we had two men from maintenance on a step ladder putting up our banner for us!  Yay for good looking ladiies!

Well that’s it for this evening, have a good one guys, and I’ll catch up with you soon!

All the best,



Hi guys, nice of you to visit!  This is my refuge from the world.  This is where I will hide and rant!

Some of you will know who I am and where I’ve come from, but for those of you who don’t…  Who let you in??? 🙂

I’m Shona McKenna, and I’ve had a very interesting and privileged life, thus far!  Long may it continue!  I’m writing this first post from a toasty room in a lovely guesthouse in Islamabad, Pakistan.  I’m here working on my first assignment for Save the Children.

Lower Sindh, IDP Camp

Last year, 2011, record level monsoons hit the south of Pakistan, primarily in two Provinces – Sindh and Balochistan.  The resultant floods caused widespread destruction to peoples homes and property.  My purpose here is to come up with a proposal for shelter, otherwise known as basic housing, for some of the affected people in Southern Sindh.


I’m loving this job, it’s really challenging, and it’s exactly what I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember… and finally I have it!  I’m just worried that I might mess it up!  I’ll tell you all about Sindh, or at least what I’ve got to see, in later posts.  I’m also studying for a Post Grad Dip in Poverty Reduction: Policy and Practice online.  The modules I’m taking this year are: Cliimate Change and Development; Agricultural Trade and Policy and Water Resources Management.  So when I’m not panicking about my job, I’m having heart attacks about Climate Change!  Some times the panics and heart attacks intersect!

The good news, the news that doesn’t give me any anxiety, is that my brother and his wife Narkees had their second son the other day, a beautiful brother, Sebastian, for my gorgeous nephew Valentino.

So, all in all, everything is very positive…  I’ve got the job I always wanted, and life is ticking over very nicely, if possibly a bit faster than I would like!

Well, I think that will do for a start.  Looking forward to chatting with you guys.

All the best, Shona.