Fieldset
Moments

I am standing outside the door to the emergency room. There has been a bomb blast but we are unsure if there were any survivors. We are still prepared. It is dusk and the otherwise colourless Chaman is bathing in red. I enjoy the beauty and tranquillity before the chaos.

I am standing outside the door to the emergency room. There has been a bomb blast but we are unsure if there were any survivors. We are still prepared. It is dusk and the otherwise colourless Chaman is bathing in red. I enjoy the beauty and tranquillity before the chaos. We are waiting, but no one came. We breathe out and share a glass of juice to break the fast.

The sun is at its highest, and the heat is oppressive. A group of men are standing, laughing and pouring water over their bodies to cool off from large clay jug. An old man is lying on the gravel and splashing in a puddle. He smiles at me and asks me to join him. All of my overheated body wants to join him but I'm in a hurry.

The wind howls and sand is whipping me in the face. I squint to be able to see anything on the way home from the emergency room. Wish I'd had my scarf. The door slams shut behind me and our entire home is covered with a layer of sand.

Sitting at the desk and filling out medical records. Gunshot wound, left-sided haemothorax and severe abdominal bleeding. We have done what we could, and now we are waiting for the ambulance. Little Misha is sitting next to me. He sees suffering and people in their most vulnerable moments daily, but he still looks at me with a smile. He passes me a carton of cardamom flavoured almond milk. We share it and then the night continues.

An old man has been hit by a motorcycle and has dislocated his elbow. He is almost deaf and looks at me with wise eyes. His name means beautiful flower in a mixture of Arabic and Pashto. Every wrinkle in his face tells a story.

Misha is helping me in the storeroom. We have used all of the bandages and dressings and have to restock. He talks and laughs. I understand almost nothing, laughing. The laughter feels liberating and is balancing the day's grief.

Jon


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 27th August 2013.

MSF Field Blogs reflect the views of the author alone and not necessarily those of Médecins Sans Frontières