Thursday, 27 June 2013

Story: A volunteer doctor in Addis Ababa (Marcello Arena, Level 6)

I had spent a lot of time planning the most interesting journey of my life and finally I was able to imagine myself at the Addis Ababa International Hospital.

The airplane took off from Rome and during the flight I was trying to imagine what kind of welcome I would have received in Ethiopia. Finally the airplane landed in that typical African airport and soon the Director of the hospital welcomed us and took our team to the Sheraton Hotel where our headquarters had been established. I was really very impatient to start my job…

The following day we met the clinic staff we had to work with, and we quickly got on well with everyone in the following days, especially with nurses and doctors. Unfortunately the following Friday something awful happened, in fact a terrible explosion blew up suddenly the paediatric department and everyone started to cry and scream aloud, the scene was complete chaos.

I had already managed health rescue during a disaster when in Palermo a boat coming from Genoa flared up near the port and I had to aid, with many other rescue units, a lot of badly hurt people, but in this event we faced a more dangerous terrorist blitz. Fortunately we succeeded in collecting every child in a protected area far from the terrorists and none of them had injuries: everything concluded in great fear.
I swore I’d never forget that journey as long I lived.

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