I joined an office Ramadan Football team. Our team name is “The Italian Job.” We’ve won 2 and lost 2 matches so far. Tomorrow (Saturday) night we will play for the third place title against a team about equal in ability to us, so it should be a good match. My teammates in the attached photo are from Ireland, Italy, Spain, Lebanon, the UK, and myself of course from potato land in Boise.
As you may know, during the holy month of Ramadan no eating or drinking liquids of any kind are allowed in public during the daytime. There is a small office lunch room on each floor where staff are allowed to snack during the day, but only in there and it is strictly enforced. After sunset, however, wonderful feasts with music and entertainment are available, for a price of course, typically at the hotels. Iftar is the meal after sunset, and Suhoor is the meal before sunrise. There are other Ramadan tents in the area where hosts invite guests for lavish affairs, but they also have nice tents and meals offered to the poor or working class here.
Two nights ago (Wednesday) we had an Iftar meal at the W Hotel for Ed Sloan, who I am replacing. Ed is sitting to my left. He Skyped his wife Sue so she could see our sendoff for Ed. Sue and I coordinated by email in advance, so that she could give me 20 interesting and little known facts about Ed, that I shared with the group during dinner. I structured 20 tidbits about Ed, and the staff had to guess true or false for each, and the one who got the most right (Ramesh) won a gym bag. For example: “True or False? Ed once stopped along the highway to run into a burning building to rescue a bird in a cage.” The answer is “True!” He actually did that one time. He saw a house on fire, stopped the car and ran inside and crawled around on the floor to make sure everyone was out. Fortunately everyone was, but while crawling around on the floor he found a bird in a cage that he brought out and rescued.
Ed has assembled a very fine team of logistics staff from around the world, over the last year. I’ll be working with this group from this point forward, as our group’s logistics manager.
The staff, from left to right in the group photo by the rugs are: Ramesh from India (he and his wife have a new baby); Murat from Turkey (he and his wife have two small children); Ed Sloan who is heading back to the U.S.; Paul “The Bachelor” Rotermund who works extremely hard during the week and then jets off to Dubai for fun and frolic on the weekends; Marikit who is a Civil Engineer from the Philippines; me; Michael who is ex military and a very sharp logistics analyst; and Stehpan from South Africa who deals with labor strategies. In short, our collective job is to monitor and forecast the major materials movement requirements into the country to make sure there is enough port, highway, rail capacity; and material, labor and food supplies to handle the huge building boom in the hundreds of billions of dollars that will occur in this country over the next 9 years.
This evening I plan to swim laps at the Marriott pool, and possibly get some laundry done. I plan move into my new apartment/condo in the Pearl District this Sunday. Again, Gail will join me here later in September,