Bahai beach

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Bahai Beach 72

Bahai Beach 72

Farewell party

June 24, 2007

Has it been a year?
Indeed I am off on July second and I came July first. Yet I have another mission under the belt. There were ups and downs. There was the good fortune to work with fantastic, inspiring people but also difficult folks. At times I wanted to explode and at times I have been laughing so much tears popped up. It all came bye over the last 12 months.

Tropical medicine is my training but I seem to be a sand lover. Last night’s party was in a beach atmosphere. Nothing better than sharing a beer, dancing the night away barefoot. Eating a sheep prepared over a grill. And then there were the speeches from partners, colleagues and friends. Many emphasized the mad hatter approach. Chasing people in the car in the morning with a whip like approach. Existentialist Angst over the broken wheelbarrow. The level of frustration I can cause for others but also the joy of working with one who forgets easily irritation and can apologize for quirky behavior.

Alphan talking about my action plan to take 50 kilo of sand and 50 liter of water home to prepare a mini Chad on my balcony but first and foremost to punish IRC for pissing me off (or being vexed, thank you Alphan never knew it meant the same as being pissed off) that the truck had already left (Thanks Marc, you know how to trigger me!)

Or Fabrice the pharmacist rolling in the fore mentioned wheelbarrow imitating a slightly irritated Ashis abusing the logistical department. Making fun of my crack up French, insisting that c’est pas serieuse is understandable in French. Threatening to go to Marc to complain (which I never did leaving the threat pretty feebly hanging in the air)

Mohammed Macousse who clearly had kind words to say about our time together.

Melel our Midwife made a beautiful speech and then invited the health team to take control of the dance floor. That they truly did.

Or that the entire IRC team but mainly the Health Team consists of bandits et bandites. This is what I truly believe bye the way (quote Marc). There is a level of joyfulness in the medical team which makes the work in 55 degrees Celsius, with monotonous food, sand mountains, swarms of flies a plenty, without restaurants or clubs, with a host population that is not always very welcoming a charm.

O yes the party: Tim took the first price for best chicken dancer. Sadjina (assistant health coordinator) the price for biggest fruitcake and Celestine was a superb dj.
Highest percentage of staff members showing up: SOS with a 100% percent score.
The sheep was tender. Merci Francois and Opportune. Despite curfew Audrey and Balde of UNHCR popped.

Given the nature of the place the party was over at 12:00 at night. Yet for a full three hours the dance floor was not empty. What made me happy is to sit back a bit and watch the crowd go wild while hearing the song Guantanamo. It is the nickname for our two compounds. Guantanamo 1 + 2. Although at times with all the restrictions and curfews Bahai may feel a bit like a prison at the end of the day it is the staff that makes this place brilliant.

Sitting behind the turn table after all had left I played a chill out set and pondered on what a great opportunity and blessing it has been for me to live, work and learn here.



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Blogger sunshine said...

One year later .......

And more than once, this time and place required that you dig in and find "the patience of a Saint and the mental strength and determination of a U.S. Marine" to just hold steady - let alone make progress.

And you did that.
And it was hard.
And you worked it out.

And you changed the way Health Services are delivered in a place that once held very low expectations of what was possible.

And you expected, required and demanded more - of yourself and those around you.

And I am incredibly proud of you.

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