By Leanne Olson
Those are the journals of Leanne Olson, a Canadian nurse who for 4 years labored in battle zones worldwide, providing medication in Bosnia, assisting 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 through machete-wielding Hutus. She spent one Christmas pinned down through Serbian heavy artillery with a troop of Bangladeshi UN peacekeepers. She immunized millions of kids in rural Liberia. and she or he has witnessed the fast growth of ethnic detoxification, staring at one village after one other wiped off the face of the earth.
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Additional resources for A Cruel Paradise: Journals of an International Relief Worker
Chapter 4 The radios in the vehicles turned out to be a lifesaver. Barely a week after they were installed, Debbie called the base with a frantic message that she'd had an accident on the road to Shankpalai, where our new clinic was located. She had gotten stuck on a bridge, which partially collapsed, leaving the landcruiser hanging off the side. Unable to leave the car because of a poisonous snake on the bridge, Debbie called for help. Vehicles from the base went to her aid, using their winches to pull the disabled vehicle to safety, sliding the car off the bridge until it ended up beneath the uncollapsed portion.
I had an agreement with the team that I was allowed to play my own tapes on the way into the field, and they could play theirs on our cassette player on the way back. Fierce arguments used to occur over whose tape would get played, and even the expats used to fight over which vehicle had the best tape player. Nothing like six hours in the car and no music to aggravate a bad day! — 50 — work, and when I left Liberia it was with dozens of tapes that I'd never heard before arriving. To this day, certain music brings me immediately back to Liberia and the friends I've left behind.
The last night we went out with Steve, a Canadian fellow, and Philippe, a gorgeous Frenchman from ACF (Action Centre la Faime). They were working in Harper but got their cars stolen and wanted to go to Gbarnga to try to sort things out. Since they came with food, we let them in. Any expat from any organization is welcomed if they come with food, drinks, reading material — or a need. We drove with our new friends in convoy back to Gbarnga. Of — 45 — course, since they were travelling in an ACF vehicle, we were stopped at every bloody gate along the way.