Day 3 – How to create hope?
Lack of sleep + good people + good intentions + positive energy = perfect pill to keep you alive.
We started our day by driving to Darashakran after packing our things, and eating a very fast breakfast. We were very exited to do what we planned. We decided and planned with the people responsible for the camp, that we would love to spend this day with the children and women (young and old) on the camp. So we talked with the head of the kindergarten, Teacher Sanaa, and planned the place and time. She was so humble as to gather as many children and women at the kindergarten.
When we arrived, we split into two groups. A group played and talked to the children, while the other group went into another room to talk to the women. To be honest, we had been planning this for a while and thought we had it all figured out. We had no idea that, instead - chaos was waiting for us. We were simply not ready for the overwhelming impressions. After splitting into one of the two groups, me and Shayan went to talk with the women. Evin, Naz and Nisrin went to the room with children.
There were simply too many sad stories and too many promises we discovered we couldn´t keep. In the midst of the women crying and begging for help, I kept apologizing on behalf of everything and everyone. In the end, I couldn´t control my feelings anymore, and I burst into tears in front of them. Both refugees and my friends got started by my sudden breakdown. The first ones to comfort me were the refugees themselves. And when one of the women who hugged me tightly whispered "everything will be okay darling, don´t cry", I lost all control. Who was comforting whom? I had everything I needed, yet these people has nothing. So how could I dare to cry in front of them and get their comfort? Thankfully, my friend Ranj dragged me out of there to calm me down. He reminded me that it wasn´t my fault, and that we were here to help them. My friends were a blessing. I didn´t want to be weak. I didn´t want to cry in front of them. How could I ? How could I cry when I knew all of them were hurting on the inside, feeling incompetent because we couldn´t save everyone? I needed to be strong for my friends. I needed to be strong for the refugees. How could I fall apart when I was came here to fix things?
A couple minutes later, some of the women whom I talked with earlier, came looking for me. "Doctor, can you please give me some of your time?". It took me a couple of seconds to wipe my tears away and get up on my feet. It is amazing that when someone reminds you of your role, everything falls back into perspective. I have to be strong... I have to stay strong for them..!
After that, I asked the refugees to come in for consultations. After all, we were six doctors that had enormous knowledge in a field that is really needed there. I learned how hard it is to take anamnesis of so many people in such a short time. I learned how horrible it feels to diagnose when you don´t have the tools. I learned how hard it is to treat a patient when your current capacity is limited. I learned how beautiful it is, when refugees innocently smile at you while saying "I just want to talk to you, that´s all". The many impressions we got... was not a joke! When I look back at it, I don´t think it is weird that I started crying. How wold you not cry when you feel incompetent? When you feel things are left unfinished? When you feel no matter how much you bring, you are still empty-handed?
At some point, I noticed everyone had been doing consultations for hours. The head of the kindergarten had come several times with water and coffee, feeling sorry for us. But we didn´t feel thirsty or tired. All we felt was the love of a doctor to his/her patients. We wanted to give proper care, even though it was hard for us diagnosing them with severe congenital diseases or other complicated diseases where we needed the proper diagnostic tools. Still, we did consultations. Still, we smiled to our patients. Still, we reassured them we would find a way. We gave them all what we had in experience and knowledge. And at the end, we gave them a smile on their faces. We gave them the feeling of support which they were looking for. "We will be here for you as much as we can". For many refugees, those words made them teary. They were happy for any help they could get. They needed love... They needed care..