Day 1 debrief.
The press don’t want me.
They take their ball and helicopter home and wont come out to play.
I have no aircraft.
My plans for the week are scuppered.
I spend the next morning, when I should be flying with a camera crew, ferrying medical teams back and forth to the HLS and seeing catering staff in the clinic, lancing blisters and dressing burns.
By the afternoon I’m rotated onto an aircraft for a few hours and the buzz of swooping over the desert is still fresh and bright.
But I feel like I’m sitting in the wrong seat. I want to be tracking us on a personal GPS, chatting back and forth with the pilot and control. Most of all, I want an overview of what we’re doing, where we’re going. I want to know what’s happening *right now*.
As a medic, that doesn’t happen so much. Before I came out here for the first time I asked a pilot colleague for any advice regarding helicopters. He taught me to think of the rotors as a plate spinning on a spike, tilting and whirling. But he also said to me “As the medic, you’re a passenger until you land; then once you’re on the ground, you come into your own.”
And thats all well and good. But I don’t want to be a passenger.
I’ll wait another year.