Sunday, 12 June 2011

Yikes! Almost a week since my last post, sorry guys. I confess that with 5 weeks remaining, you can tell the team is getting tired. We've done almost 100 days without a day off and I think we are all looking forward to a break.

Today was definitely worth writing about though. Headed to the Egyptian Hospital in the morning and managed to give out some shampoo, nail polish and hair ribbons to the girls there. It never ceases to amaze me how desperate the women and children are. I offered out a nail polish to one young girl and a much older woman came by and snatched it out of my hand, wrenching it away from the girl and then tottered off. I desperately wish I had the language skills to keep more order among the children and I have managed to learn a few crucial words, but not enough to sort out disputes. The plus side of the morning was that the girls had mixed together a cup of henna and painted our hands. The hilarious part is that they all wanted to help so the girls kept grabbing my hand away from the girl drawing the design causing it to smear. All part of the experience! Now my hand is stained this crazy orange for the next two weeks. You could tell the girls were really proud of themselves though. Typically we are the ones offering gifts and you could tell they were excited for us to participate in something very common to their culture (almost all the women and girls are painted with henna).

Later that night we had another really scary incoming attack. I was at the office by myself when an enormous impact boom shook the office. It was as close as that one terrifying night I spent in the bunker after Osama was killed, so I was up like a jack rabbit, locked the office door and out the back door in 5 seconds. Everyone in offices around me had come out as well, waiting for the sirens to sound, but 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes later nothing happened. Turns out the impact from the rocket was actually outside the wire, which is only about 75 -100 meters from our camp. Because it didn't hit on base the sirens didn't sound, but it was incredibly close.

Then I went on a MedEvac last night which never fails to be an amazing experience. There was one guy who had the most extraordinary burns on his face, I've never seen anything like it and it was tragic to hear the nurses tell him to use Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) which is a device that when the button is pushed releases a controlled dose of pain killers. You can push the button as much as you want and the device self-regulates and cuts you off when you've had enough, but just to hear them say that really gives you a sense of how much pain the guy is in and how he will suffer on the flight.

The other disturbing part of the night was when an incoming MedEvac landed bringing in an EPW (Enemy Prisoner of War). That was another in your face reality check that there is no denying this country is still very much in conflict.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Hi Michelle!

I have always loved to read your blog as it has continuously put the conflict on the other side of the world in perspective for me. The most recent posts over the past few months have amplified all of that. Thank you for all that you do!

Your little sister,