I mentioned in a previous post that there were two parties to celebrate the beginning of the medical camp. There were problems with transportation after the second party. Originally, most of the volunteers had ridden together on the hospital’s bus; however, sometime during the party the bus returned to the hospital. So when the volunteers were ready to call it a night we had no ride. We waited for about 45 minutes and still no bus. Eventually the consul general and a few of the other VIPs were leaving, so we all ended up carpooling.
I packed into the back of one of the consul’s security jeeps with about 5 security officers. Once inside we started speeding back to the hospital, which was cool because I love speeding. The jeep was open air and only had a canvas top, so it was amazing to look outside and see the stars in the clear sky; looking at the road was like watching a movie in reverse – everything is moving away from you. It was a pleasant experience…until I looked down and saw the automatic rifle pointed toward my left kidney. All of a sudden the trip wasn’t as pleasant. I was riding with two other volunteers who both spoke Gujarati (the local language) and I started to ask one to ask the guard to ensure that the safety was enabled on the gun, but I decided that I would rather not have him adjust his gun in a dark jeep moving at high speed.
Obviously I lived to tell the tale. It was a great experience despite the possibility of loss of life. Now that I think about it, if the convoy had been attacked I would probably have taken the first shot since I was sitting at the tail end of the jeep. (Note to self: Never ride with VIP security, ever again.)