George talks in a 360 video about the refugee crisis in Burundi, from Nduta camp in Tanzania.
I first went to Africa as a (very young) Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso in the 1970s, and thought I would quickly return. Somehow, 30 years passed before I went back, as I spent the first part of my working life living out of a backpack as an instructor for Outward Bound and the National Outdoor Leadership School, then as a studio potter, with a brief dark period as a stockbroker. In 1991 I returned to graduate school to become a psychologist, expecting to work with juvenile delinquents, and instead, I then somehow found myself a college professor. For the last 20 years, I have trained mental health counselors and psychologists, and I currently teach at the University of New Mexico.
Along the way, a few years ago, I learned that Doctors Without Borders had a need for Mental Health professionals, and shortly thereafter, in 2010, I was in the Democratic Republic of Congo, flying between three different projects in an area affected by both violence and endemic illnesses such as sleeping sickness. Several years after that, I found myself in a refugee camp, on the border between Libya and Tunisia, during the Libyan civil war, initially coordinating mental health efforts, and then when the war ended, closing the our activities there as the Project Coordinator.
Meanwhile, we have become an MSF family, as my wife is now a project administrator in South Sudan, and will soon be returning from her own first mission.
My exact role on this trip is still somewhat in flux, as the specific needs are quickly shifting. But just as MSF works hard to be able to respond quickly to changing needs, I have gotten used to the ambiguity. Mostly, the trick is to pack really light, eat lots of duty-free chocolate (for your mental health), and take a hot shower whenever you have the chance.....