Palm trees in Paradise

This is my view this morning while awaiting the coffee to brew.


There needs to be a more descriptive word for the process by which the coffee is prepared here because brew does not adequately describe a process that results in a small espresso sized cup filled ith the upper two-thirds of über coffee like extract and one third sludge that would terrify a dredger.



Yesterday we the first day of all systems go in the team. Two theatres ran concurrently, four teams went to surrounding clinics.

The clinic I was posted to (with a GP) was situated in Alhamaneh (pronounced Hamania). Based in a vet clinic (!) we saw approximately 70 patients. We managed to escape the frenetic activity in the afternoon to go and visit the neighboring town of Jacobina.



20130417-163349.jpgSyrian army tank.

Bombed churches. Burnt out tanks. Holes in pavements. Appartments with two meter holes in the wall.

The remains of the house of the 14 year old boy that I had seen earlier, macerated foot and on crutches, saw where he had been when when the town was being shelled.

Drove home through the mountains. Incredibly scenic transitioning from olive and fig plantations to riverine terrain.

Philosophical meandering from last night.
People are fixated on fighting and wars. Individuals travel significant distances to work in a war zone to help the victims of a two year war. Local residents enduring hardships, intermittent electricity, limited food supplies and constant bombardment and sniper fire (over the two year war). What do people discuss at night: how one religion is wrong, that its necessary to not be tolerant of other religions before they take over.

20130417-163709.jpgMark Deacon, myself and Abd Apteek (photographer for Al Jezeera)

20130417-164100.jpgmortar shell from the day before.

20130417-164528.jpgSupper from our hosts.

3 thoughts on “Palm trees in Paradise

  1. Peter,
    You do the most extraordinary things.
    Reminded of a shocking Canadian film about the internecine violence in Lebanon.
    Look after yourself, be sensible.


  2. Love your new blogs layout and clarity. Enjoying the updates and insights into a world we don’t know, amazing pics as usual. Food looks fab. The diversity and anthesis of the place must be interesting to comprehend. The irony – nobody would of worried if you had gone to the Boston marathon. Keep up the good work and keep safe Ljk

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