Leaning against the window I carefully peak through the curtains. A merciless landscape meets my eye. Seemingly deserted but when I search I find life. Dust swirls and sometimes something green cries out, fighting for survival under an unforgiving sun. Our car struggles through the Kojak Pass. We pass beautifully decorated trucks in all sorts of colours. The crest is approaching and on the other side I catch a glimpse of Chaman at the foot of the mountain. Finally.
The heat is suffocating and sweat is running down my back. I’m on my way to my workplace for the first time. One of my new colleagues gives me a tour. The ER is a small building with only eight trolleys. Now it’s Ramadan and the number of patients seems to be reduced but I have time to quickly see seven patients who need help. Everything from fixing a broken nose to removing an ant that had latched itself to an old man’s eyeball. That is what is so exciting about emergency care; you never know what will happen.
I can already see that the work in front of me is overwhelming for a single person. I have to come to terms with my limitations and try to transfer as much knowledge as I possibly can and hopefully save some lives and alleviate some suffering.
My new colleagues have welcomed me and I think I will like it here. I am going to do my best to try to fall asleep now. I will be on call 24 hours a day for the next six months so you have to sleep with one eye open but it will not be a problem in this heat. I am swimming in my own sweat.
My thoughts are with Mone and Blanca. After 643 days in captivity, they have finally been released. Hard to understand what they have been through. I’m glad they’re home.
Jon is a Swedish nurse working in secondary healthcare in an emergency department in Chaman, Pakistan. Find out more about Jon and the MSF Pakistan blogging team.
Jon wrote this blog post in Swedish on 8th August 2013.
MSF Field Blogs reflect the views of the author alone and not necessarily those of Médecins Sans Frontières