By Carol Bergman
One other Day in Paradise is an anthology of first-person tales by means of overseas relief staff. Written by means of energetic reduction staff and spanning the recent spots of the globe from Afghanistan to Cambodia, Rwanda to Vietnam and Ecuador to Bosnia, those tales inform it love it relatively is at the flooring. masking ordinary catastrophe, conflict and all-too-fragile peace, those tales open an uncensored window onto the lives of reduction staff and the triumphs and tragedies of the folk they are attempting to assist
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Extra resources for Another day in paradise : front line stories from international aid workers
Though my Ecuadorian colleagues speak to them in Spanish, and I speak a little Spanish, we do not know if they have understood us: There may be a major eruption, it is not certain, we agree that evacuation is necessary. Until the volcano calms down, they cannot return home. Both the people and the volcano are now restive and demand our attention. I REMEMBER when Mt. Cameroon in Africa erupted in March 1999. One thousand villagers were evacuated as walls collapsed and lava flowed. When my team arrived, it was necessary to ask the local sorcerer’s and medicine man’s permission before climbing the volcano for our scientific investigations.
But even in N’djamena there were limitations on where I could go and what I could do. I was expected to follow rules: Don’t go to the movie theater—a grenade could be thrown over the wall. The local “Westerner” nightclub, aptly called the Booby Bar and considered a terrorist target, was guarded by French soldiers until midnight. When they left, I was expected to leave too. I traveled around the city on a third-hand moped. Colleagues cautioned me against purchasing it. A Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) woman had been struck and killed by • 54 • ADIP int.
After spreading Laughing Cow processed cheese onto my piping hot banh mi—the omnipresent French bread and one of my favorite French legacies—I join my colleague, Tes Pilapil, in front of the guesthouse. A Land Cruiser pulls up and our colleagues from Can Tho University—Dr. Nguyen Van Be and Nguyen Thi Van Hong—step out. We cordially exchange greetings, and then the four of us set off on a flood assessment visit to the Plain of Reeds, starting with Long An province. • 40 • ADIP int. mech. pgs 1-80 UK 9/5/03 10:29 AM Page 41 Natural Disasters: Vietnam Two hours into the drive, we stop at a gas pump in the main town of Long An.