A photographer is attached to our team for a few days, he’s producing a feature for a men’s magazine about the MEDSAR team.
Each day he’s plopped into a sweep vehicle, or onto a helicopter and we cross our fingers that he sees enough exciting stuff to take pictures of.
One night he gathers us together for a group portrait and lines a bunch of us up on plastic chairs on the back. This is all well and good until the chair I’m standing on gives up and the ghost and I fall clean through it, slicing a chunk of flesh off my right shin.
The sympathy of my colleagues cannot be expressed here in words.
We fly the photographer out to RV with a sweep team and while we’re sitting waiting for them to arrive, I realise how much I take for granted out in this environment.
Unused to the desert, he’s assailed immediately by the wind blowing sharp sand into his face. His eyes screw shut and he spits sand onto the road.
I lend him a pair of goggles and teach him to tuck into the tires of parked vehicles to shelter from the storm. Down at ground level, with your eyes protected, it’s almost comfortable.
Life skills, indeed.