terse & at large

GRRRRR. Arrrgh. And sometimes a travel log.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Muzaffarabad, Part 3

Morning in the APS is a wonderful thing. It's cold, yes, but the view is awesome. Izuan, from Team 1, already told us about it, but seeing it for ourselves is a completely different thing. It wasn't too bad a night. The duck-down lined sleeping bags that we'd brought along for this trip complemented the four layers of clothes I had on when I slept. Didn't feel too badly when I woke up. I ought to have brought along my pillow though, or stolen one from the plane when we were disembarking.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

I'm still in my cold weather gear as I settle down for an instant noodle (curry, just curry) breakfast - hey, anything to stay away from the awful smelling toilet*, ok? There's coffee, the coffee shop kind in instant coffee bags. Anything hot to get us going, I guess.

* I find out the same day, though, someone - probably a local - took it upon himself to provide the toilet cleaning service for the entire camp. One way to show gratitude I suppose.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

The dew from the previous night was heavy and it had already started forming at 10 pm local the previous night.

After the briefings and countless meetings the previous night, it was decided that the medical team would head to the field hospital first to get themselves orientated. Pearl, Iskandar (Team 2 Leader) and Edwin would attend the daily UN briefs and then we would all head to the hospital and the IDP camp just across the road from it to get our respective stories and shots.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

I get a few perfunctory shots at the start of the meeting. I was told it's pretty informal, with everyone just standing around and saying what they needed to say and finding out what they needed to know.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

When I get the shots I wanted, I go back to the Singapore camp, just a tent flap away to help out with the setting up of the generators. For purely selfish reasons I must admit. The batteries I brought were already at half-full and, in the cold, I don't expect them to last the day (I'd even gone to sleep with the batteries painfully poking into my sides, wrapped as they are in my scarf and tucked nicely into the inner pockets of my fleece jacket). If I helped with the setting up of the generators, it would mean I get to plug the recharger in and get them back up to full.

It turns out, setting up the generators meant having to reconfigure the layout of the camp. We get to it immediately: we move the medical boxes to one side and dismantle the tent Hassan, Yong and I were in the previous night. That tent was moved to the northern end of the campsite and set up again. Once that was done, we moved the food supplies and camp equipment into it.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

The light areas on the mountains in the background are scars from the landslides caused by the earthquake and subsequent aftershocks. By the time I leave, these areas will have increased in size.

Which was about the time the meeting in the UN tent ended. I got myself ready to move off. But when it seemed that nobody was ready to leave yet, I continued, with my camera strapped across my back, to move stuff into the newly-christened supply tent.

But the time I took a break, I realise that the vehicle had left without me. And left without even calling for me.


Related Links:
Flickr Photoset

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9


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