Fieldset
“You are coming back, aren’t you?”

I have packed all my stuff. My tukul is empty. I am going to Loki for a ‘break’ and I am not sure I am coming back.

I have packed all my stuff. My tukul is empty. I am going to Loki for a ‘break’ and I am not sure I am coming back.

Zac, the base nurse, eyes my bulging backpack and says, “You are coming back aren’t you?” He has seen this before and knows the signs. I say, “Yes, of course”, but I feel guilty as I say it. I am filled with self-doubt. Perhaps I am just not tough enough for MSF. Perhaps I belong somewhere else? The thought is disappointing; I had planned to do several field missions with MSF over the next few years and then stop when I was too old and decrepit to withstand the rigors of the field. But perhaps I am already too old and decrepit?

The full team has been back for a week. The work is considerably easier and I am on call only every fourth night. But I still cannot sleep. The bags under my eyes grow larger by the day. I had hoped that I would start to feel better this week and my thoughts of escape would evaporate but they haven’t. I am going to Loki to rest, talk, try to sleep better, and to think.