Fieldset
Packing

Alexander is an emergency room doctor from Sweden. He sends us his first blog post from a new assignment in the Central African Republic, a country which has faced many years of violence and instability...

I'm sitting on a porch in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. Tomorrow I´m leaving, to head out to the hospital where I'll be working. My second assignment for Doctors without Borders is now beginning. It's been three years since my first assignment. Every week in Sweden has been leading up to this point, to this very moment. At last I'll be back in the field.
 
MSF doctor Alexander Nyland sits with his skateboard outside the MSF house in Bangui, Central African Republic
Alexander on the porch of the MSF house. Photo: MSF.
 
Back home in Eskilstuna, in Sweden, I left my apartment and car, and packed only the things I always carry with me: my skateboard, my skate shoes and my hat. Most likely, they won't ever get used here: the hat is too hot, the shoes are too thin and the skateboard requires terrain that is rarely found out on the field; if there is even time to relax. These belongings mark my comfort zone though: a piece of home taken with me, something to fall back on.
 
 

Alexander arrives in Bangui.  Photo: Alexander Nyland / MSF.

Tomorrow MSF's plane will take me to the southeastern part of the country, to Bangassou. A city whose population is usually about 35,000. Because of the armed violence there, many residents have left, those who are still around live, if not at home, in the bush or in refugee camps in the city or on the other side of the river in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The context is complex and the situation is critical. The population is in great need of full medical care, especially at this time of year, when malaria and all its complications dominate.