A week in quarantine, after officially a full year of living the Covid life this lifestyle has become too familiar. So it wasn’t so bad to spend a week binge watching series, exercising in a confined spaces and virtually interacting with lots of people.
I feel somewhat like a playing piece at the moment. On the grand board that is emergency relief I have been slotted into another project; “for a few weeks” which I can see becoming a few more and a few more until my 6 months is up.
So, without much consultation or any information, I had my Covid swab, receive a phone call about a car that is coming to pick me up and I am whisked across country after being provided with travel permits, copies of which are duly taken by multiple traffic police during the 8 hour drive (god knows what they do with them). So, I arrive. In another even hotter town there are various introductions to people whose job tittles I still don’t fully understand.
On plastic chairs, in some still sweltering shade outside a ram-shackled and dusty shared house/office I find out the details of what my life will become from tomorrow. The project has been going around three months only; where a patch of dirt was recently now is a small, basic but functional clinic/hospital. Luckily, the previous ex-pat doctor has prepared the team to function without me so hopefully my start will be gentle.
It’s still intimating, it is quicker to list the drugs we have than the ones we don’t. Receiving handover from a doctor vastly more experienced in these environments than myself further deepens my imposter syndrome driven anxiety. But the best thing is the team there is in place; seven enthusiastic Sudanese and Ethiopian doctors, all engaged and keen to learn and provide service to the 22, 000 Ethiopian refugees who have be forced to come to Sudan to escape the fighting in the Tigray region of Northern Ethiopia.
So, one more night sleeping under a roof, and a least a few weeks in a tent with in a refugee camps, well that’s if I leave before June. After that the rains come and the 3 hour drive turns into (or so rumour states) 3 days by tractor