In the few days I spent in Freetown, post-Rotifunk trainings, with all my work and project commitments behind me, I finally started to feel the heat of frustration burn through. Frustration for how everything ended in Erbil, and how callously everyone who was invested in the project was tossed aside.
Without my mind still in manic focus towards my short-term role in Duhok, or on the training sessions in Rotifunk, I had time to process my disappointment. Even though the school had fallen apart over two months prior, I’d been working so furiously on a number of different things that I had no time to process my thoughts from the situation. A good deal of purposeful distraction.
What it did mean was once all the committments were met and finished, instead of enjoying my time in Sierra Leone’s capital or looking forward to the famous Bureh Beach for some decompression, I wanted out, quick. I realized I wanted and needed the exact opposite of both northern Iraq and tropical West Africa.
I knew as long as I was in Freetown, or Sierra Leone, or anything relatively close to it, my mind would be stuck in one work mode or another. I needed something significantly different from all of the above so that I could start to lick my wounds from Iraq. I wasn’t going to find decompression in West Africa.
So, northern Europe it was. Cold beer and cold weather in northern Europe sounded like the perfect opposite of both Iraq and Sierra Leone.
And so far it’s been 11 days in Belgium, 8 in Poland, and 5 in Ukraine. I’m now in Kishinev, Moldova.