None of us had ever done this before; flown to a developing country with a yearning to help both our fellow-man and ourselves. The earthquake tsunami one-two punch had produced a paradigm shift for many and brought together this tiny band of medical experts…and me.
At the very first expedition meeting in New Delhi, held in a hotel room at the top of a spiral staircase, one of the topics of conversation was journaling; we all had one.
Everyone was full of intentions to capture in writing the events which were to unfold over the next few weeks. It would be a routine exercise to recreate the happenings of the day and share them with friends and family back home; to deliver a fair and accurate description of our experiences so that these could not only be secure in our memories but safe from future confusion or dilution.
As the expedition went from a pre-conceived notion to harsh reality the journaling and “experience recreation” became an after-thought. Of the ten of us not a single journal was ever opened for the purposes of writing or rehashing an experience. Of the ten of us barely a word was ever written.
Our evenings were more in tune with compartmentalizing the day’s activities and allowing them only briefly to be summarized; verbally and out loud. After which we would descend into more shallow past-times; drinking, games, jokes, and stories of a more jovial nature.
If I had to describe our behavior, the phenomenon, it would be to relate it to the TV series M*A*S*H where every day a heartbreak took place and living the heartbreak once was enough, recreating it had little or no benefit.
Storing the memories deep; in a compartment of the mind that is dark and out of sight.
This was an unconscious yet unanimous decision betrayed by no-one. At some appropriate time we knew they would be retrieved and processed however that time was not now…not even close to now.
To find out how this all came about; click Beckoned Skyward by an Earthquake.
To see more photos of India; click India – A Photo Journal