Thursday, January 17, 2008

Quiet today

Today was very quiet in the area, there were a few small demonstrations and the road to work was blocked but otherwise certainly not the huge chaos that we were expecting. We stayed at home today. Everything is fine, and we may go to work tomorrow.

Again, please don't worry! MENTOR has strict security procedures in place, which we have been following very carefully. We have developed contingency plans for all possible situations. I am in contact with the Canadian High Commission and there is a Warden 30km up the road should we need assistance. We are not in any danger. If you read the news reports, not a single foreigner has been injured. We are safe where we are. MENTOR is an organization that works in emergency situations much worse than this and we have been getting support from headquarters during this time. It's been a big learning experience and has actually been very interesting to learn about how to operate during a crisis. Very very rarely do aid workers become targets in security crises. In fact, they normally develop relationships with the various factions of any conflict so that they can work to help the people who need help.

As I've mentioned my concern is for the people here who we have not been able to get to in order to reduce the risk of malaria. There are far more people being killed by malaria during this conflict than being killed in the protesting. This fact has been completely lost on the international community and the media. The world is all upset about people dying in clashes with police but they turn a blind eye to the thousands of people, mainly children, who die of malaria every day. Or diarrhea. Or pneumonia, all diseases that are so easily prevented. It's criminal that we take so much for granted in the West while people here suffer.

Anyways, I'm not going to rant about that any more...just know that I'm safe and sound, if bored and frustrated. Thank goodness I bought the second season of Lost last time I was in Busia. We are almost through the first season, I thought it was really stupid for the first few episodes but now I'm hooked...once we get through Season 2 we really will be in a crisis. We may have to call in an airlift of Prison Break season 2!!!

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