Monday, October 17, 2005

Pakistan meets Sahana

We managed to catch an early flight at 5AM as opposed to the originally booked 7AM one and make it to the hotel early on. Though we made it to the hotel earlier, Murphy would have us wait for about another hour before we could see the rooms. Nevertheless after seeing the 60 inch plasma TV equipped with 70 odd cable channels, there weren't any hard feelings. The room at the Marriott is very nice and relaxing to be in.

plasma After a very short nap, we were escorted to the IBM office, where we met a lot of new faces. Chamindra presented the current Sahana system and I showed a working demo off one of the notebooks we brought with us. As soon as that meeting was over, we all rushed over to the Priminister's secretariat, which is a massive palace like building just a few meter's off IBM headquarters.

There were several high ranked Army officers to whom we (IBM/LSF) demoed the system and offered other templates and consultancy services Our presentation was taken quite positively by the officials, and they even offered to take the two leading guys from the Emergency Crisis Team on a chopper to see the disaster area.

Later in the evening, quite happy with the day's progress, Asif who is one of the IBMers, took us out to Pizza Hut to initiate eating after fasting all day. We took the special "All you can eat" offer that's happening these days due to the Ramadan season. I must say the quality of the Pizza was better when compared to what you get in Sri Lanka.

The day ended with some coffee and chitchat at a prominent Minister's residence about the current situation. There seems to be a lot of expectations from everyone to get the system operational ASAP. Hopefully all the elements will come together in the coming days.

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