"The packing has given me huge anxiety. I think it's my brain's way of channelling the monumental anxiety I feel about the mission as a whole, something that is still reasonably graspable. Yet. How many pairs of shoes to pack? What do I bring for work clothes? How much personal stuff can I take with me?"
"I made it with all my luggage. I have to say, that was a huge relief. My luggage was significantly less than my previous assignment to Tajikistan (read: I didn't bring 4 bags of coffee and tons of Deirdre Soap), but nevertheless, it's always a lovely feeling to see your familiar orange backpack emerge from the conveyer belt. Yes, clean underwear is in the future!"
"Do I sound proud of our clinic? Well, that’s because I am proud. Every day we walk through a crowd of anxious patients to get to the clinic, and every day we confront apparently insurmountable obstacles, and yet every day we are getting people treated for hepatitis C."
Antonia Zemp has been a nurse in MSF's emergency team since 2015, working in the most urgent emergencies and crises. She recently returned from her latest assignment in Yemen, where she's been part of the response to the cholera outbreak there...
"Aisha is curled up on the mattress. She has a beautiful smile despite having just lost her two front teeth. Aisha and her family fled Raqqa City last month. Despite the challenges, they have managed to sustain Aisha’s need for regular blood transfusions, relying on family members for frequent donations of blood..."
"So what does this look like for a day to day? I wish I could describe the stereotypical MSF assignment – driving around in the ubiquitous MSF land cruiser down dirt roads, working with marginal populations in basic healthcare facilities, wearing the white MSF t-shirt, saving lives on the frontline, operating in a deployable tent. But it’s not. There’s a subway here."
I’m impatient to see the country that I love again and terrified it won’t be that country any more; desperate to be there already to help in whatever way I can and desperately wishing that help wasn’t needed.