I feel like I need to be a little opaque in this post and avoid certain keywords that would draw in a search. I don’t have anything of particular interest to share, but it’s best to be cautious (though not overly dramatic). 

I had the opportunity to take a business trip (or TDY in military terms) to the hq with my new colleagues earlier this week. It was a bit awe inspiring to be in a place where world representatives come to discuss and decide international affairs. I evidentially just missed crossing paths with the US Sec of St, who was there to meet with the Sec Gen. My colleague sat in the SG’s chair — in that room you see in news clips and I sat at the desk (a gift of France) of a notable past SG. 😬

It was interesting to learn how an organization that depends so much on the exchange of information, manages that information very intentionally. Quite impressive! We met archivists who are working to preserve the historical record of this important organization. The archival program is very young (1999), however, and they have much to do to sort of catch up to where they should be in terms of administrative control of their records. Preparations for a move to a new building is driving much of the work at this time.

I didn’t get to the very heart of the city to see the grand square with it’s architectural jewels, but I did see a bit of downtown. We took a tram and had dinner at a gourmet burger place, which lived up to it’s reputation. I didn’t think too much about recent events in this city until I saw some army trucks and a soldier on patrol. I wasn’t fearful, just sad — sad that one of greatest cities in the world has been scarred by terror.

We travelled south to another version of hq the second day of our trip. This one was less impressive — a dismal example of prefab architecture and a sad state of archival neglect. Just saying it like it is. 😕 There are some recent hires who are doing a remarkable job of making improvements — however slowly. We didn’t get to meet an long term employee who single handedly saved and recorded vital history  for many years against opposition. Kudos. 🤗

We were supposed to have a meeting in the bunker, but only got so far underground when access was denied because we weren’t cleared in advance. Badges with secret clearance were evidently not sufficient. Oh well. The TDY was a good bonding opportunity for our newly formed team regardless of whether all the purposes of our trip were realized!