Yes, that’s right… I’m going on my first mission with MSF (imagine a dancing emoji here 🙂
Let me back track to 2011 when I first emailedÂ Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) inquiring about working with them as a counselor, and if there was a need for counselors on their missions. The lady who responded was really professional and polite as she answered all my questions, and sent me the link to the page with requirements for Mental Health Professionals.
Five years later, I’m about to go on my first mission with MSF as a cultural mediator, and I have mixed feelings about it; I’m thrilled because this is an organization that I’ve always wanted to work with because of their work ethics, value for human life, and impartiality with regards to people they offer assistance. On the other hand, I’m sad because our world has become extremelyÂ violent and unsafe to the pointÂ that people have to risk their lives trying to cross the mediterranean on barely functional boats, leaving themselves at the mercies of smugglers and traffickers, and risking the lives of their children to get to safety… How ironic, risking one’s life in order to be safe.
I am thankful however for MSF volunteers, staff and partners that support and/or are part of the ongoing work in war torn areas and unsafe and devastated places where we provide health care, nutrition, and so much more. I say “we” because I’m now part of the MSF clan and I couldn’t be any prouder to wear the MSF shirt as I join the crew onboard the M.V Aquarius this week. About that…
What on earth does one pack for a first mission with MSF at sea??! On land, I have a ratherÂ good idea but at sea, that’s a major game changer :). I have a list of things to bring BUT I have my own internal planner telling me “take this, leave that”.. So, let’s see which voice I pay attention to :).
Next time I write you, I’ll be at sea :)… Till then, stay safe, love yourself and others, speak truth, and remember #safepassage. So long Amsterdam, see you in a few months! Tot ziens :).