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Thought provoking and an inspiration
on February 6, 2010
Over winter break, I read a book entitled Six Months in Sudan, by Dr. James Maskalyk. I am a Field Partner of Doctors without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres), and was introduced to this book via Dr. Maskalyk's blog on their site. I am grateful that I learned of it, and that I had the opportunity to read through the memoirs of this caring physician.
Six Months in Sudan isn't a book written in a formal style with proper grammer and formatting throughout. Instead, it contains the honest memoirs of a Canadian emergency medicine physician who recorded his thoughts and experiences of serving in Sudan while they were still fresh and raw in his mind. It is a collection of memories, experiences, and emotions. He wrote while angry, depressed, anxious, and grieving. He discusses intimate moments and shocking injuries. He holds nothing back as he bares even his most private thoughts prior to his departure and during his term. He also discusses the isolation that he felt upon his return. This is, perhaps, the most honest book I've ever read.
It isn't a difficult read, and it is the kind of book that you don't want to put down once you've begun reading. If you're interested in medicine, public health, international affairs, or policy, you'll definitely appreciate this book. Even if you're not, you probably will. Beware, however, as this book is not edited for content that may make you realize that you take the comforts of your life for granted. It made me realize that I do so, and that the hardships I experience really are petty as compared to those of others throughout the world.
When you purchase Six Months in Sudan, Dr. Maskalyk donates a portion of the proceeds to Doctors without Borders and to a fund that will help students from Abyei, Sudan to access education, if the schools there are ever rebuilt.