The Caravan lifted off a few minutes ago with its precious cargo . . . I have never been in Bundibugyo without our kids before, it is very very quiet all of the sudden. There are still people laughing and chatting on the road, still kids coming into our yard, still bright red tomatoes piled on the counter to be cooked, which lend an air of unreality to the fact that we are in the midst of a major public health crisis, temporarily scattered as a family and team. Julia and Caleb were efficient and helpful all day, they have matured even faster in the last three days. Jack spent most of the day with his friends, especially his closest one Ivan. Ironically now all my kids are gone, but my students who were released from school today are all sitting on my porch waiting for the “plan” since they normally spend most of their days here when on break. If I sent my team and kids away to protect them from risking contact with us, how can I allow these boys to be here? What about my houseworkers? Other friends? Always these evacuations bring painfully to the surface the options we have that others do not. Someone wrote that it reminded her of kids being shipped out of London in WW2, which gave me a new empathy for those parents.
Scott is gone from sunrise to sunset and past every day it seems. As soon as the plane took off he was back up to yet another meeting. I think this is probably the hardest point of the whole crisis, the fourth day, when things should be falling together but there is still considerable confusion and jostling for who is responsible for what, how do MSF and WHO and CDC and Red Cross and Ministry of Health all cooperate, and what is our role in all that? All intensified by the absence due to disease of the two men who would be most able to hold it all together.
Feeling a bit numb. More later.