A Cruel Paradise: Journals of an International Relief by Leanne Olson

By Leanne Olson

Those are the journals of Leanne Olson, a Canadian nurse who for 4 years labored in warfare zones all over the world, providing medication in Bosnia, assisting rural hospitals in Africa, delivering relief to humans in desire. She used to be one of many first foreigners at the scene of the Mokoto bloodbath in Zaire, the place greater than 100 humans have been killed through machete-wielding Hutus. She spent one Christmas pinned down by way of Serbian heavy artillery with a troop of Bangladeshi UN peacekeepers. She immunized millions of youngsters in rural Liberia. and he or she has witnessed the short development of ethnic detoxing, staring at one village after one other wiped off the face of the earth.

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Whether or not it was the shellfish I'll never know, but the end result was clear. Louise made arrangements to bring me and two other colleagues to the hospital in Abidjan.

Curfew. Turns out Nixon Gaye hijacked one of our trucks and threatened the driver. He wanted to transport his football team to Gbarnga. The driver went as far as Peter Town and stopped, refusing to go any further, at which point Anne and Gert showed up. They were able to finally negotiate for the release of both the driver and the truck, but I guess it pissed off Nixon Gaye to no end. Then there was supposed to be a big farewell party for Wilma and Egbert, who are both leaving. I had to be the one to tell them it was cancelled.

The used needles and syringes were thrown in the latrines or buried in a pit to prevent the people from reusing them. It usually took nearly an hour to do the clean-up and count. Then everything and everyone was reloaded. By this time I would have to visit either the feeding centre or the health centre to pick up requisitions for supplies, reports, sick patients that had to go to Phebe and sometimes staff members who were going into Gbarnga for a weekend to take their own breaks. I also had to deal with any security information, and problems with staff or the military.

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