© Xenia DAVID
The teamwork is tested to the limit in Timergara. Field workers can go to only three places in the whole duration of our mission: house, office and hospital. For this reason, the house is well equipped with amenities for comfort. Yet, there is no substitute for a good team. I was fortunate enough to have stayed with pleasant, hard working people, both veterans and first missioners like myself. Expect a multicultural mix of people from East and West, North and South. One does not have to step out of the house to have an interesting experience. Here, I learned about the customs of other countries, the cuisines, and the practices, just by observing the people in front of me. And I grew to love them, for like me, they shared an adventurous spirit and a willingness to help others.
© Xenia DAVID
The patients I see in the hospital were women who suffered from burns (usually due to kitchen accidents) and gunshot wounds. But majority of the cases were mothers with complicated pregnancies who could not go anywhere else for free and quality health care. MSF does not charge for its services, so we expect the kind of patient who has already gone to one of the many pay-clinics in the area but can no longer afford the subsequent private care.
 Photo source: Xenia DAVID
We just finished a medical mission in the province of Bukidnon, Philippines. My friend and fellow anaesthetist looked at me incredulously after learning that I accepted a medical assignment to Pakistan with MSF.