The aid worker –
Though I have always dreamed of this aid-worker-always-on the-run life, I never quite pictured it like this…
It is strange to run around between meetings in the small touristy streets of this town. Crowds of German, Dutch, Danish and English tourists are passing me by. While I am careful to stay in the shadow they are enjoying every bit of the strong, bright sunlight. Apparently they don’t care that they are as white as (or – if possible – whiter than) me and will be a lovely shade of red by the evening. They are buying the traditional souvenirs: bracelets, key-rings and t-shirts, while I do my daily shopping: food, water and phone credit. They stroll through the narrow markets in their shorts and fanny packs while I try to pass them without having my backpack hit them in the face. We are both too busy to notice the young mother sitting in street holding up her hand and speaking to us in a foreign language.
When I get a coffee around eleven, the tourists are just finishing their breakfast. They sit at the cafes of their hotels enjoying a cocktail while I exit the hotel at the end of my meeting. On my way up to the remote refugee camp they pass my by on their rented scooters and open jeeps. When I go home at the end of the day, they start going into town for dinner, drinks and clubs. And early in the morning, when I go running, the last visitors of the party are making their unsteady way home. We share this beautiful island but our experiences are completely different. I think the situation is uncomfortable manoeuvring for both of us, while we are both equally needed here. Them even more than me… Probably the strangest context I have worked in so far.