"And down went Alice after it never once considering how in the world she was to get out again…She fell very slowly for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and wonder what was going to happen next. First, she looked down and tried to make out what she was coming to but it was too dark to see anything…"
I came across this portion in Alice in Wonderland and thought that this is exactly what it is like going out on a new aid post. You just ship off one day to work with people you’ve never met in a place you’ve never been. You could be on a team that will be your new bestest-friends-for-life or you could not get along with a single one of them. You might love the place or find you're allergic to the very air. All luck of the draw, I suppose.
Now: random musings...first let’s compare and contrast with last posting just for the heck of it, shall we?
Differences between working in Indonesia and Darfur:
1) We live in palatial buildings.
2) There are hot showers
3) There are toilets
4) The food is great – including ice cream
5) Air conditioning in all our vehicles
6) There are weekends
7) There’s constant electricity and – usually wireless internet
Similarities between working in Indonesia and Darfur:
1) It’s hot.
2) There are mosquitoes
Yeah, pretty much struggling to find any other similarities. Oh yeah, there was once a war here too. I love this place. I’m not kidding! Can’t we stay forever? I guess that would be slightly defeating the purpose of, well, everything humanitarian workers are about but I think we should think about it nonetheless.
Most interesting part of the day was the security brief on what to do in case of another tsunami. The answer: “run”. Well, technically that’s not entirely true. With enough advance warning, we’re supposed to get in trucks and calmly drive inland to higher ground. Failing that, however, we’re supposed to run for the highest ground around. I love it. You just can’t beat sound, sensible, simple advice like that… “run!”