Humanitarian Hijinks

I love this blog. Written by an anonymous aid worker working in a refugee camp in Darfur, Sudan, it’s equal parts hilarious, sad, and engrossing. Take, for example, her report on meeting with Sudanese officials in Khartoum:

In another meeting, an official from the Ministry of Agriculture (or maybe Finance?) proudly tells me that “here at Ministry, we do lots of reports. And studies, lots of studies. And we play with figures.” It takes a lot of effort to ignore the irony of this unfortunate translation, but I manage to vigorously nod my head in agreement.

If her example is to be taken seriously, it’s not only maddening to be an aid worker in general, but Sudan adds a certain something that makes things even more surreal.

Ms. Hijinks is not only a satirist, but gets downright indignant about the horrors she sees in the Darfurian refugee camps. In an age when images of starving children seem like the only way to communicate such horrors, and in which we can easily convince ourselves that these things aren’t really happening, her refusal to admit to a western ironic distance is refreshing, and much needed.

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