Sunday, July 23, 2006

Damascus and Beirut bound

Anyhoo, after three luxurious weeks of resting and not thinking about Sudan (except when I read that book Acts of Faith), I'm off again for work. When I arrived home and met my friends from work on Saturday, I was informed I was on my way to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. That was a little worrisome because I'm much more motivated to go to new countries with new crisis to learn. But then, after discussion with Kristele, my Lebanese colleague, the outrageous needs of Lebanon way outweighed a "stateless mission to Haiti".

While I'm nervous about heading into a war zone, I'm also slightly excited. I've always been interested and wanted to travel to the Middle East. And I considered majoring in Middle Eastern studies in college but went for Soviet Studies instead (better professor). I also feel like I could really be making a real contribution. While South Sudan was satisfying in that we helped UNHCR become a better partner, the idea of a more active role is exciting. I always wanted to be a nurse and used to have dreams of being a doctor in the military (too much MASH and father working a military hospital probably did that).

I hope it works out but I don't want to take too many unneccessary risks. I told my father yesterday about this trip and he took it much better than I thought he would. Today, we decided, no matter what - we're off to Syria. We can always do something there if we get caught. I think it's going to be an awesome mission. To document what we can also watch on CNN at the same time? Outrageous!

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