Lying Low in Pakistan
My brother, recently returned from a tour in Kandahar where he has been with the Canadian military, sent a message when he heard I was heading for Pakistan. He said that I should be careful, that Pakistan isn't safe!
“What,” I asked my sister, when she conveyed the message, “about Afghanistan? He thinks that is safer? Did he forget there is a war being waged in
Our two year Strengthening STI Management project is drawing to a close. My visit to assist with the physician training has been postponed several times in the past two years. Finally, on advice, the workshop was shifted from rural Mardan to
Headlines in newspaper the following day declare "Militants Lie Low in Bloodless Operation". Side bars in the newspaper indicate a number of civilian deaths.
If this is lying low, I wonder what would flying high be like?
So I am settled in a guest house in
Meanwhile, my colleague, Emel is scrambling. After a lot of calls it looks like we are going to be able to go ahead with the training in Abbatabad, a quiet place north and west of
The situation in Mardan is worrisome so I suppose this is a useful distraction. Our drivers who have been in and out of Islamabad, tell me that the health work still goes on and they are able to move to all of Frontier's twelve health units,.
It has been a long while since I have run a STI training workshop. A Canadian colleague was originally supposed to come to assist in running this workshop as well as adapting it to
My first task has been to assemble a slide show on genital ulcers that includes all the patter and comments and possible questions. This is needed because I didn’t think I would be allowed, as a woman, to show and discuss genital ulcers. I run my slide show by Emel since it looks like the total cast of facilitators is going to be him and I. He doesn’t look comfortable even with all the notes I have attached. The upshot is that he feels that as a foreign female doctor I can discuss the slides of genitals although he agrees a local female doctor would not be allowed to do so.
I think about this for a while, a very long while.
Now I have to get on with making most of the training material, since I am here in
Today he has come to tell me that he will do all 50 illustrations and is going to produce some of them almost immediately. So I am close to euphoric, at least as close as I can allow myself to be given all the preparation needed for our workshop.
It is a wonderful tonic to help counteract all the awful things I am reading about the Taliban. As are these evocative photos of rural Pathans in our project area, a wonderful, hospitable albeit conservative group of people.Photos: PM residence in Islamabad, rural Pathans gather sugar cane, Literacy training for women, health poster competition for young girls, making gur (brown sugar from cane)