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 around the globe, supplying medication in Bosnia, helping rural hospitals in Africa, offering reduction to humans in want. 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 by means of machete-wielding Hutus. She spent one Christmas pinned down via Serbian heavy artillery with a troop of Bangladeshi UN peacekeepers. She immunized millions of kids in rural Liberia. and he or she has witnessed the short growth of ethnic detoxification, observing one village after one other wiped off the face of the earth.

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Extra resources for A Cruel Paradise: Journals of an International Relief Worker

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The letter stayed on the wall of the EPI office for months. The national staff also got involved in making posters for the feeding centres and clinics to advertise upcoming vaccination campaigns, and sent letters to the areas to encourage all women and children to attend. Sometimes the younger, teenaged women would be very reluctant to receive their first tetanus shot. If Marietta couldn't persuade them and Henrietta couldn't threaten them, we'd get the womanizing 'TT' Toe to charm them into agreeing.

Some days, this took up more of my time than supervision of the EPI itself. When the team went home, I went to the office. Any issues that had to be discussed with either Anne or Ton were brought up then. We had a constant shortage of computers, and with the lack of generator hours, getting them charged was always a problem. Whenever I got my hands on one, I started on my reports. I usually made it back to the house for dinner around 6:30 and occasionally had time for a volleyball game. The evening was spent by candlelight or kerosene lamp, more often than not doing reports, working on surveys, trying to find out population figures and planning the numerous workshops and inservices that needed to be arranged as the program expanded.

To start it all over again. Mercifully, though, Anne and Ton refused to allow the team to work on Sundays. We all did a half day of office work on Saturday, but they tried hard to keep us out of the field on weekends, although there were times when we were required to work. I cannot express the importance of having a team that not only 43 works well together but also realizes the importance of maintaining the health and high spirits of the entire team. There is nothing worse than returning to your house at the end of an exhausting day and having lousy food to eat, no water to drink and no clean clothes for the morning.

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