Sometimes I get lulled into thinking my life is somewhat normal. Then I pause during moments like tonight and realize that it is anything but.
Yesterday we had lunch at the local UN Pakistan camp where one of our Bangladeshi doctors has befriended one of their doctors and share advice around patients and so forth. They invited us for dinner this evening, and it was certainly a feast.
They ship in a 5,000 calorie diet (and junk food isn’t part of that) meal service for the troupes, so needless to say, they eat well. Though they have plentiful food available, the difficult part is that they aren’t allowed to gain weight either. So it is a delicate balance for them.
After the meal we sat around having tea together outside under what I had hoped to be a blanket full of stars, but rather, total cloud cover. The Pakistani officers were all dressed down in their civilian clothing, but none-the-less looking as though they had primped for a high school days. As I sat in a circle with this group of men, along with my colleagues being an Ethiopian surgeon and several Bangladeshi doctors, I realize that this is certainly a once in a life time experience.
All of us sitting around had given up a considerable amount, friends, family, spouses, children, to be in a foreign place and serve in the aim of creating a more peaceful world. Certainly such a goal seems grand and distant, but the commitment is still there. The one thing that units us in our work.