After over a month of blogging comatose, at the pressing of several friends who suspect I might have succumbed to malaria (which I never got) or have spontaneously combusted, here I am. Online resurrection.
My blog has been dormant but I assure you my life has been anything but. Since the last post there has been a departmental overhaul and a consequent disappearance of my disposable time. The finance department went from 4 to 2 players in a span of a week. The FinCo (Finance Coordinator) and I have since been battling to keep our heads out of the water. Taking on our assistant and accounting manager’s tasks and responsibilities while trying to fulfill our own has left us breathless. Everything seemed to be an emergency; we were running left and right. On some days I had to force myself out of the office to take a 15-minute lunch. On others I considered my short car ride to the bank as my “break”. I can’t recall the number of times I promised myself I wouldn’t wait as long before using the restroom again. Thankfully, recruitment angels have answered to our calling and bestowed upon us two new team members. I now have a happy bladder.
When I started working with MSF I wondered why expats were encouraged to go on vacation every 3 months. Now I understand. After several months of intense learning and operating at high gear, your brain and body demands some R&R. I hit my mission mid-way mark on November 27th and I celebrated it grandly (not!) with a well-needed vacation in Morocco.
You can take a girl out of Bangui but it’ll be a little while before you can take Bangui out of the girl. My reflex as I got into a taxi? Look for a radio transceiver to notify the operator of my location and destination. My reaction when I heard sharp popping sounds? Tune in to ascertain those weren’t gunshots. It took me a couple of minutes to get over the exhilaration and trepidation of walking outside after sundown. Oh how CAR has conditionally marked me!
I’m now back in Bangui. The city has been relatively stable and slowly repopulating itself (a very good sign!) Although we are still not allowed to make any movements on foot, we gained one curfew-hour. What a treat! I feel like a child who gets a whole extra hour of playtime!
My energy level is not back to 100% but I’m nonetheless happy to be back, see my Central African family again and I’m ready to tackle the new challenges coming ahead! In the spirit of the holidays, may December be a month of stability, positive change and joy!