sexta-feira, 4 de março de 2011

Pakistan now...

I had to write, my head was just about to explode with so much thinking….. I hardly had any sleep….which would be normal considering that I have almost 12 hours of jet lag in the last 2 days…. but considering that I went to bed a bit drunk, it’s a bit more difficult  to explain…. But thoughts were flying through my mind and there are so many things that I would like to write about, that the only thing I am sure off is that I will get lost while writing, and 90% will be left unsaid…. The loud speakers at 5am for the morning prayers didn’t help….


Let´s try to put some sense in this text then…. 

The reason why I started with my blog was the huge desire to make people know about horrible things that happen while we live our “normal” lives, that 99,9% of the world population hardly ever heard about, like is the case of the war in Congo that has so many years and so many victims , that shocks me why the world media insists on forgetting …. Telling real life stories that I experienced so close seemed the best to make my insignificant voice somehow, heard….. and pictures for obvious reasons…. No matter how much you write, nothing replaces the impact of seeing the colorful display of a world that most have seen just on Hollywood movies…. By that, I mean that Congo will never be forgotten by me, and in a way it hurts my feelings that so much was still left untold…. But I have a life and a work to do…. besides writing! I left one story in the middle few weeks ago, and at least that one for sure I will finish and post on my blog as soon as I have the time …. And the inspiration that the end of that story deserves. (The Sweetest Eyes)


English or Português ? Well…. That questions was responsible for at least 20 or 30 turns around on my bed will trying to sleep…. Proud as they come of my country and my mother language, writing in English creates a huge conflict on my mind…. In Portuguese it would be much easier to flow and make my words richer…. But English gives me the feeling that I can reach further, its my teenager idealism side, that I wish I would never lose…. Some people that became import in my life, are not Portuguese speakers, besides the fact that here in Pakistan, English will be my main language, my written English could use a lot of practice and I have an important oral exam in English coming up in April, to finally get my European Diploma of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care…. Humbly but ambitiously, I would like that my words about reporting what is going on with the ones that were not born on the lucky part of the world, would reach as much people as possible…. So, English it is ! Unless, somebody offers to translate, so I dont have to betray, Luis de Camões J ….

I don’t intend to do something like “my dear diary….” , but will be sharing my thoughts and try to answer the great amount of questions that people ask and are interested in….

Where it all starts and finishes …. The airport!! It was much harder the first time…. But still, when you leave your loved ones behind, and left alone “against” the world ….. the journey starts….. Not much cloths in my bag (and how stupid I am as it is freezing cold in the area where I will go), some medical books, some books about Pakistan, a small book to try to learn some words of Urdu (most spoken language in Pakistan) and Pashtu (the language that they speak in the area that I will be) lots of reports and documents about my mission ….and guess what else is outside my bag?? Showing it of as much as I can, representing all that I would like to carry with me but I cant, my city, my culture, my friends, my family,…… my world ! My FC Porto scarf ! When I get a chance to stop to think…. I hold it tight…. I squeeze it…. And I kiss it …. And tears fall from my eyes, while I start to immediately miss, all that I just left behind…. Oh god…. Do I love my world ???!!!  Probably the business men that are also going on my airplane to Frankfurt start to wonder, what is wrong with me …. Nothing ! Actually these are tears of joy … Tears of “saudades” , that make me extremely happy to be alive, and are the proof that I am a very lucky person !!
 

And I continue my reading of the autobiography of Benazir Bhutto, anxious to see many of the things that she describes….
1 stopover night in Frankfurt… probably the cheapest Hotel, nearby the airport….but way to good for my usual standards…. Cant say that I don’t like the very soft sheets, great shower, and all you can eat diverse breakfast….

On my way to Abu Dhabi… Where in the map is Abu Dhabi??? Ah ah ! It looks nice! Flying with ETIHAD, from the EAU…. 2 words for the Asian airlines: Ohhhhh Yeaaahhhh!!! The stewardess are good looking, friendly and speak many languages, one of them (male) from Lebanon, becomes my friend and was planning to visit Portugal, so stays with my email…. Between all, but really all the most recent movies, video games, good food, and my hunger to read about Pakistan and my future job…. I wish that this 8 hrs flight would last forever !!

At night Abu Dhabi looks nice from above….and I get quite curious to visit it or Dubai one day….


But now things start to get messy…. What a different world of people while I cross the airport to my next gate…. And then…what I have already suspected, Islamabad/Pakistan is not a very touristic place , I am the only non-Arab looking on the plane , most of the women have burqas , and the paranoia that I read before, of being considered an offense just to look at them, starts involving my mind !! Need to get used to it …. It will be much worst where I am heading…. Time to reset my mind about some of this issues….it takes time! Another great but shorter flight with ETIHAB…. And there it is Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Islamabad…. Get my picture taken, by the police, show my passport and visa, get my bag.... and wonder what´s on the other side of the doors… Somebody is expecting me, which makes me feel quite important to have somebody with my name on a paper to pick me up :) ! ….. Another security check, but they don’t care so much about me, I guess I don’t look the explosive type of guy….and there are the exit doors! ….. I take a deep breath and think to myself  “Vamo lá embora, car…..”! The doors open… Mummyyy, take me home !!! No, I am joking ! But it´s an huge shock, hundreds of Pakistani pilling just outside the doors (I read that they love a big crowd)… but who cares?!? if I have my FC Porto scarf to protect me, right ;) ? I find my way through the crowd towards to 4 or 5 guys that have papers with names on it …. I never wished before that my name was Yang or Smith or whatever…..any name that took me somewhere….because my name was not on any paper (there goes my thoughts of feeling important ;) )….  cross the same crowd again, and to the other side again…. and there is nobody with my name or MSF written anywhere…… hmmm….. it seems like I have a small problem! Its 3 am, cold and rainy, I am in Islamabad, I have no numbers to call , no address to go to ….. and I am in f….. Islamabad !! Many guys start to approach me …. but not aggressively….  Proposing a taxi (I would love to take one, but I have no idea where to!), and proposing to make a phone call on these strange portable/land telephones that I have seen in Rwanda before ( I have phones too…..but I have no numbers to call !!)…. Stay calm Gustavo, you still have your FC Porto scarf to protect you ….. and my Lonelyplanet guide of Pakistan (that I bought not to travel but because I find it is a good way to know more about the country), that could point me an hotel to go to ….. 20, 30 mins of dilemma, rejecting taxis and phone calls…. And a guy comes to me with a paper with my name and the MSF logo on it….. If I saw him in Portugal at night he looked like he was going to rob me…. There, at that moment, was I happy to see him !?!?!?



(Will pick up the story from this point) ….. Need to leave to buy my locals cloths, to wear in the field….. the Shawad Kameez  ! Its Friday, their holly day and shops close at 12.00 !


2 comentários:

  1. dr GUSTO!! que bom já ouvir noticias tuas!
    as tuas palavras chegam sempre a alguma pessoa, e essa pessoa vai partilhar com outra... e como se diz na nossa língua " grão a grão enche a galinha o papo".
    e hoje, por teres criado este blogue, há pelo menos uma pessoa no CONGO que ganhou com isso...
    KAHORO FELICITE, uma mulher que por causa das tuas histórias que chegaram ate a mim , e resolvi partilhar através das minhas jóias, esta partilha de informação em cadeia fez com que hoje esta mulher tenha uma vida diferente !
    um grande beijinho...
    patricia

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  2. Muitas felicidades neste teu novo desafio! Que tudo corra bem! E lembra-te que além do cachecol do FCP a proteger-te, tens muita gente a querer-te bem e a ter orgulho em Ti!
    Um grande abraço Amigo!

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