• kwankew

The Dispossessed

I went back to Hope Clinic working with my translator Russel, saw 27 patients mainly aches and pains, respiratory infections and epigastric distress.


NA in camp for 4 and a half months, he was 60 years old and he said he walked for 15 days and had to climb mountains to get to the border.



JD 18 yo girl, in camp for 5 months. Her cousin was killed while running away. She walked for 2 days with 3 family members. Her eyes still looked traumatized as she related her story, her cousin’s death still haunted her.


Fatema 38 yo woman, in camp for 4 months. She walked for 14 days with her husband and 4 children. They often went hungry and drank ground water. The memory of her escape still made her cry when she opened her heart to us.



NH 68 yo man, in camp for 5 months. He had 5 family members, 1 child died years ago from diphtheria. They walked for 4 days. From his hiding pace up on a hill, he watched the soldiers rounded up the men and killed them by a pit, kicking the dead bodies into the hole. Women were also rounded up and taken away he did not know where. He owned 2 shops and 15 cows but had to leave them. While he was crossing the border to Bangladesh he recognized one of his cows being led by a Bengali. When he went to the authority to claim his cow, the new owner provided his purchase paper. While he was at the camp, his neighbors contacted him to tell him they were going to sell the contents of his shops and give him a certain portion of the proceed but since then he had not heard back from them.



It was Russel’s last day, it had been wonderful working with such a talented, caring young man. I wish him the best.



As we drove by the wide dirt road that leads to the border of Myanmar guarded by the Bangladesh military, we were told that some 1,500 Rohingya still cross the border daily.



In the afternoon on our way home the van stopped at the Red Crescent Field Hospital to inquire about getting some medicines for an accidental needle stick. Across the street was a more settled area of Kutupalong Camp. Here the houses were still of tarp and bamboo, closely crowded almost at arm-lengths from one another, a few were blessed with cement floors. Dirt drains giving up a miasma of foulness lined the sides of the houses, trickled from the pumps where plastics and trash piled up indiscriminately. Dirt steps pounded into hard caked paths by thousands of foot-steps would probably become rivers of slippery mud when the rain returned. Curious children followed, stared and giggled.

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