Sunday, September 25, 2011

Being Aboveground

This past week was the UN's 66th General Assembly session, but it was my very first one. I had been warned about what this week would be like (busy diplomats, clashing meetings, no sleep, grouchiness) so for the past few months I had been mentally prepping myself for what the past 7 days would bring.

Let me tell you that from what I saw, Australia should be really proud of its New York team. I am not saying that to be up myself at all, but I was stoked at how well we all worked together - sleep deprivation and all - to get out of this week alive. I mean, despite the odds, we ended the week with a zero body count. Amazing.

And I loved UNGA, as mad as that obviously makes me sound. I really enjoyed the energy, the camaraderie and the feeling that I actually made a tangible contribution to the week that was. I didn't get to hear any of the meetings or debates, but I stayed behind-the-scenes (where I was happiest) and sourced last-minute documents, shuttled delegates around to non-stop meetings, and just generally fought spot-fires wherever I found them.

All that aside, UNGA really was as frenetic and nuts as my colleagues had suggested it would be, so I'm glad it only happens for one week a year. I don't think I could maintain that cracking pace for too long. But I do hope that the bosses were proud of us and that we did good work for Australia.

So in my post-UNGA lull, how does my body recover? Sleeping till lunch time, that's how. It was absolutely blissful to wake up this morning (uh, this afternoon) without an alarm screeching at me. Then I busied myself with dish-washing, laundry and the general tidying up that I had been neglecting, or just totally ignoring, all week. And as Sunday draws to a close and the rain clouds roll in, I've set myself up in the kitchen to make Jamie Oliver's minestrone recipe - delicious!

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