My favorites are doing well, but I don’t know who to root for next week when Ghana plays Germany. I suppose either way I’ll have picked a winner. Uzbekistan isn’t even playing, but the World Cup is the topic of conversation at the beginning of the day, at lunch and as we all rush home to catch the early game. I like the World Cup; somehow it feels more global than the Olympics. And the world is watching.
The world is watching Uzbekistan now too. With our neighbor, Kyrgyzstan trying to preserve its democracy, they report that people are killed indiscriminately in the southern part of the country. Hundreds have been killed, and refugees have been pouring into Uzbekistan. I suppose it’s confusing for anyone not living here, but all of these Central Asian former Soviet countries have many ethnic groups living within their predefined borders. People normally get along. But when economies are troubled, governments undergo change, or people are angry about their immediate circumstance, often immigrants are looked at as scapegoats. It happens the world over. But things are never black and white. There are no winners and losers, or perhaps only those losing life and homes.
MSF has missions in both countries, but both of these missions focus on treating patients with TB. Now we’ll both have to consider the humanitarian crisis happening between us. Meanwhile our own chronic crisis of TB continues, and I need to finish implementing a new data collection system in our expanded sites. Today I’ll finish training doctors in using new forms, then hop a plane headed for the Fergana Valley to assess the situation. I had hoped to watch football games this evening – watching winners and losers is easier to understand.