Confessions of a Humanitarian Aid Worker

Confessions of a Humanitarian Aid Worker


Hi, I’m Karin, and welcome to Our Human Planet. Have you ever wondered what life is like for an aid worker in a refugee camp? The word “rugged” doesn’t begin to cover it. This is your hut. Your hairdresser. They switch places when they’re done. Your shower. There’s no lock so it’s good to let people know it’s occupied. This one has a drain hole, though that means it’s overrun with toads at night. Mirrors are hard to come by so most guys improvise. There’s one kitchen for the entire camp though the burner’s almost always out of gas. Most of the local workers prefer to use a fire pit. The ingredients are limited and so is the cookware. And everyone eats off the same plate. If you’re late to dinner, you have to make do without a spoon. Doing laundry is an endless chore. There’s only one wheelbarrow and the water is often dirtier than the clothes. At least there are plenty of thorny trees to hang your washing on. Toilet paper is non-existent so people use plastic kettles full of water turning the latrine into the perfect place for flies to breed. Around here life can’t survive without a source of water and the camp is no exception. Everything depends upon the water truck. It’s supposed to come every few days. Unless it breaks down, the weather’s bad, or it just runs out of gas. Then everyone’s on strict rations until it comes around again. By midday it’s so hot that even the chickens are looking for relief. Anyone with common sense finds a shady place to sleep. Only foreigners stand out in the heat until a dust storm rolls in. There’s almost no warning and the entire camp goes into lockdown. All sorts of animals look for refuge from the storm outside. No matter how often you sweep them out, they always find a way back in. Electricity rarely works, but it doesn’t really matter it gives you time to hang out with the other aid workers before finding a spot under a tree. It’s still too hot to sleep inside. Despite everything, a lot of work gets done until the truck arrives with a long awaited cargo. Despite all the hardship or perhaps because of it, it doesn’t take much for them to enjoy themselves. Goal! Goal! They didn’t stop playing until
the next food shipment came in, but that’s going to have to wait until next time. If you enjoyed this video, please subscribe to Our Human Planet.

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