As my assignment here slowly comes to an end, I’ve decided to decompress & map out my 2017, in Milne Bay for a few days before heading home.
So I hope you enjoyed reading my blog. If you are reading it because you want to join Médecins Sans Frontières as a volunteer, I would encourage you to do it. It was the greatest experience of my life. If you are reading this as one of the many individuals who make up the vast majority of our funding, then thanks for allowing me to help. If you are reading this to learn more about PNG then I hope I gave you some insight about the tragic violence that occurs there, but I hope you also saw the warmth of the people there. I met some of the most wonderful, warm friendly and trustworthy people in the world in PNG.
The paradox of the violence and the warmth of the people is something I can never understand. If you are reading this because you have an interest in addressing the sexual violence in PNG then I urge you to act. In my last few days in PNG, my former boss told me about a patient who had been imprisoned for weeks, moved around a province and raped by different men each day. Sometimes, when I see what makes the news where I live, I want to scream at people “open you eyes, see what is happening in the world”. But I don’t. Instead I write this blog. Thanks for reading it. Please tell people about PNG.
I want to say thanks to Isa for her inspiration while writing this blog and for the thought provoking questions she asks when we have our conversations. I want to thank my three wonderful bosses, Julia, Isabel and Claire for their direction, for their trust and for the laughs. Huge thanks go out to David J our driver, artist and carpenter in Lae for doing so much. I want to thank David K and Adam B for being my brothers. I want to say thanks to Marc (head of mission) for the sacrifices he has made for MSF and I want to say thanks to Karen for the constant laughs. I want to thank Nadia, the hardest working person I met in MSF. I want to say thanks to Keith and Otas, the guys who took over from me for being so super cool. My biggest worry towards the end of my mission was about leaving what I had been doing with people who would do a good job. With Keith and Otas I can relax knowing things will go well. I want to say thanks to Mevis, Emasi, John, Yako, Kobe and Hewali and especially Awaro for guarding us when we worked and slept and especially thanks to “lifesaver” for putting himself between us and harm’s way.
I want to say thanks to Jui for being the easiest going person to work with. And I want to say thanks to all the other national staff who continue to work hard, long after us expats complete their missions in Papua New Guinea. A final special thanks go out to Norman, the nurse who saves lives.
By weeks end, I return to the life I had before, I love working for MSF, the opportunity to do what i love and see the world but I have a few things to finalize at the states before I can leave again in a couple months. So I’m fairly confident that I will return to PNG and will return to MSF. I always leave a bit of my heart where ever I reside.