….or maybe, the title should be, “Left behind in Iraq, Part II.”
When I first went to Nasiriyah last year, my friend Pasha and I stayed behind for a few extra days to get the remaining children out of the ICU before continuing on to Sulaymania (P.S., I really don’t have any idea how to correctly spell the name of either of these locations, so sorry for the inconsistency).
This trip however, I arrived under the pretense that there would be children left in the ICU after the rest of the team left and that they would need to be attended to. Therefore, I arrived halfway through the trip with the intention of staying for an extra week. Now it is Saturday, most of the team flew out this morning but myself, Pasha and Christine from Washington D.C. are here until Thursday morning.
We have a full ICU. Luckily, Najaf’s cardiac ICU can only accommodate four patients…and we are operating at full capacity. One child is very sick…like I don’t want to talk about it sick…like Pasha and I had a f%@ked up night last night sick. But the other three have the potential to recover fully and do quite well.
So that is reassuring.
After our crummy night, Pasha and I went back to our guesthouse for breakfast. It was a beautiful sunny day and we opted to sit out in the “garden” for our dining pleasure. We ate hard-boiled eggs with bread and cheese (a menu that is identical to breakfast every morning), drank bootlegged vodka and smoked cigars….actually, Pasha smoked a cigar and I smoked a “neonatal cigar,” otherwise known as a Montecristo.
We laughed a lot.
And tried to forget how stressful our night at work together had been.