She is on the brink of killing herself and then (thank goodness, thank goodness, thank goodness) she phones our councellor Kural.
Supposed to be on my 4 th year at University right now, most of my friends are going to be graduates this year and I’m not even close to that. Guess everything happens for a reason, but for this I don’t see any reason why it have to be so damn hard. But again I guess it’s those lessons that ‘life is not easy’ but really does it have to be this hard?? Mmhhh. Maybe it will be a happy new year, the day they say I’m actually cured from XDR (be it in June/July) for me that would be a HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Rape is a crime that affects many aspects of human life; it is a medical emergency, it is a psychological trauma and it has deep consequences on both family and societal level. It is of utmost importance that survivors of rape have access to immediate medical and psychological care, and also for the sake of preventing sexual violence altogether in a long-term perspective it is important that women’s rights in general are improved.
How you feel about coming home also depends on how you left your mission. If the population you were caring for are safe, if your work will continue, if you made a difference and if you can rest assured that the people you have grown to care for will continue to receive the assistance they need, it balances out. If you left in unsettled circumstances, unsure of the security of the population, tasks unfinished and without a replacement to see them through, it’s tough. It leaves you to wonder ‘what was the point?’ and ‘why did I bother?’. Have we done more damage by giving hope and then taking it away, than by not offering hope in the first place?
The combination stressors of unfamiliar climate and diet, not to mention the ideals that lead you into this sort of work in the first place make a lot of people push themselves hard at their jobs – unsurprisingly illness and periods of emotional burnout are not uncommon among the expat workers… only time will tell how I fare. For now I’m going to follow the advice that I’ve been given and hope and pray that my immune system holds up!
“Hello, Emma? Welcome to Nasir, paradise!”
Fifty per cent of the time I slowly roll backwards and end-up with my arms and legs flailing in the air like a stranded tortoise, until Tony frees me from the straps. All my visions of my being a brilliant yet remarkably cool and subtly sexy humanitarian doctor evaporate before I have even received my MSF T-shirt.
I take a couple of deeps breaths. I tell myself ‘everything will be okay’. What on Earth am I doing? And then I remember. Twice whilst I was in Uganda, the distinctive MSF Toyota land-cruiser, adorned with MSF flag and stickers and no weapons logos and giant radio antenna zoomed past me and I got butterflies in my tummy.
The amount of violence and the triggers for it can feel absurd… A husband can chop his wife if she asks why he comes home late. A woman beat her husband with a stick after he asked her for money.
Kaderia* doesn’t know how old she is. As she tells me her story I try to guess her age, she looks about fifty but perhaps her difficult life has made her age quicker. As she talks her face betrays a life of difficulty and anguish but also a look of pride and defiance.
‘My village was a very good place, except this war when people came and destroyed everything and chased the old people until we eventually escaped and came to a safe place. The whole village was burned down.’ She says a lot of people in the village died in the attack.
Kaderia explains that nothing like this had happened in their village before this year. ‘I don’t know why these people did this, maybe they wanted to take the land from us’ she explains.
Cormac blogs about meeting Kaderia, a woman still coming to terms with the violence that uprooted her from her home in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains several months ago. Please leave your questions and comments for Cormac in the comments box below his post.