(No, these are NOT the same shot: notice the crowds in this one, related to the above-illustrated kite festival.)
But what legacy will I leave behind, I ask myself occasionally? When I asked a Sri Lankan colleague if she’d ever worked with hanging file folders of the sort that have been omnipresent in all American businesses I’ve known since the late 1980s, she said she’d seen them on television (as in, on American television shows – how fabulous is that?!), but had never had the chance to work with them.
(As you can see, I am truly suffering here in this hardship post…so, Chuck: DO worry about me! A lot!)
So I think the lasting legacy I’ll leave across the world as I move from place to place with MSF is an American filing system: I also introduced hanging folders in China, where my national-staff colleagues had never heard of them or seen them before. There, though, our MedCo also used them; even though he’s French, he spent substantial time in the US, doing clinical work after his MD. How do the French file things, you ask? In notebook binders: think of the three-ring binders you may have used in elementary school. Everything related to a given topic gets stuck in one sheet protector, and stuffed into the notebook. I hate this way of filing things – so inaccessible and hard to sort out, as you have to take the whole thing out and go through it all, then fit it all back into the sheet protector, just to find one sheet in a batch of a hundred.
(But is it water polo, or water volleyball? Neither net nor goal gave away the secret…)
You understand, of course, what I mean: my life is boring! If the biggest excitement I have to report is the introduction of hanging file folders to MSF Sri Lanka, I have to think you’d rather watch reruns of Oprah. So let me not hold you back. More some time, dear friends. Let us all repeat Elvis Costello’s mantra: What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding?