quarta-feira, 22 de janeiro de 2014

What if it was you?

This is my answer to the challenge that was made to me, by the www.readwave.com , and writing my story in 800 words for a 3 minute read.

What if it was you? There is a world around us. I decided to be a doctor, because of my frustration, when my dreams got broken of being a professional bodyboarder. I fell in love with medicine, and the possibility of saving lives with my hands and knowledge, kept me going motivated "around" the medical books. Nothing happens in a day, and nothing important happens without a lot of effort, sweat and tears. And then, out of nowhere it comes that moment when you look at yourself in the mirror and you did it!! You saved somebodies life! It could have been somebody else, but it was you! And that feeling is just priceless. But time goes by, and you want more.....everybody wants more, and you start looking around you. You start looking at the world, and it hits you right in the face when you were not expecting. My heart sent me very strange signals to my brain, the first time I went to Mozambique and I felt that my iPod that I was hiding in my pocket, with the fear of being robbed, could feed many people...too many. What if it was you? What if it was you the one, born in the "wrong" side of the planet, not knowing when I had food on my mouth and completely vulnerable to all kinds of diseases that could kill or disable you. Hunger is hunger. Pain is pain. The first time I volunteer, I paid my flight and all my expenses to work in Mozambique, and I felt great. My tiny help, made my life make much more sense... I can not save the world, but will be happy trying. So I offered myself after that, to work for Doctors Without Borders, and it was love at first sight! With them, I could use all my skills and knowledge where the need really is. I went to the forgotten war of DRCongo, and I spend there 4 months. It completely changed the way I looked at life ever since. That was it, one of the most problematic countries in the world, where more than 5 million people died in 20 years due to war, and nobody really cares. To be a doctor in such circumstances is much more than a job, it is the reason of my existence, my pure essence. I worked like hell, saved many lives, and broke my heart many times with frustration of my defeats in the hospital. Open your eyes to DRCongo, I wrote. What if it was you? But I wanted more. More life, more understanding, more world. I never choose the places, they choose me. I went to the Nor-western province of Pakistan, the centre of the biggest problem of our days; "terrorism", and there I found one of the most interesting and complex places in our planet, one of the poorest zones on earth, where the magnitude of the problems never ceased to amaze me. I loved the people and took home a bag full of stories and life lessons.
After that, I went to the south of Afganisthan, and a background of 40 years of war. What a country! beautiful inside-out. Experience counts a lot, but there is always much more fresh emotions than you can imagine. And even though I totally give myself to the cause, the people, the patients, the hospital, and teaching the national staff, I always end up with the feeling that I learned much more than I taught, and I brought home much more than I left there. What if it was you living in one of the world´s biggest battlefield? What if it was you going to sleep not knowing if a drone will not bomb your house? After that, my next MSF proposal was for Syria. I thought that, it was not possible to be scared anymore, but it was. Entering Syria, was one of the most intense moments of my life. Passing by a huge part of the country with no law, where machine guns and refugee camps jump to your eyes in every corner. The dead end of the arab spring, where the population fears for their life, every single day. What if it was you? Realising that your beloved country is at war? Smart people ask questions, stupid people know all the answers! Since I was young I tried to understand the world by trying to put myself in other positions. We can not loose hope, we can not stop to care, we have to learn to tolerate with different ways of living. Turn on the news, and open your eyes to the world, and ask yourself; What if it was you? You will cry first, but all the rest you will do it with a smile! Love!

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