South Sudan: A place to call my own

16 February 2017

Johanna Lönn is a nurse from Sweden on her first assignment with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF). For seven months she'll be managing a tuberculosis department at the hospital in a refugee camp in Bentiu, South Sudan. The hospital is the only health centre in the camp. Here she blogs about arriving at her home for the next six months.

Finally I am here!

After many days of travel and stop-overs I finally arrived what will be my home for the next six months: Bentiu protection of civilians camp, in South Sudan.
 
When I got off the plane the heat struck me like a concrete wall. The thermometer announced that it was 43 degrees Celsius here. It was a great contrast to when I left Sweden a few days earlier, when the first snow had just arrived.

When I got off the plane the heat struck me like a concrete wall.

On the way from the airport to the camp, I could not stop looking out the car window. It was so beautiful.

When I attended my pre-departure training course, I met several people who were going to South Sudan. A man, Rod from Canada, is here in Bentiu with me. A British girl, Rachna, is in the neighbouring town. We meet sometimes when she comes with patients to the hospital here. It is always nice to see familiar faces!
 
I have been assigned to a small tent where I will live for the next few months.
 
My little tent. Photo: Johanna Maple/MSF
 
I have a bed, a fan and a small metal box I can store things in - everything you need!
 
In regard to the common areas, we have a large dining table where we all eat dinner and play games together in the evenings. We also have a security bunker that doubles as a TV room.
 
Our logisticians have plans to build a place with some soft mattresses on where we can hang out on our free Sundays and get some protection from the sun. That we look forward to!
 
 
 
 
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