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What have I learned?

One of my favorite blogging folks, ResqEllie, has written a funny post about what she’s learned in our profession. She finishes by asking the rest of us what we’ve learned in ours. I thought I’d answer with a list of a few of the things I’ve learned since coming to work in the Middle East 3 1/2 years ago: 

  • We all bleed red. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, how you pray, how much money you have or what your last name is. When too much of what’s on the inside gets on the outside, you die.
  • Drink lots of water. All the time.
  • Physics always wins. Driving at over 100mph without a seatbelt and hitting a sand-drift on the highway will teach you that lesson so you’ll remember it for the rest of your life (all 30 seconds of it).
  • If it really is all "God’s will" then he’s got one hell of a sense of humor.
  • Wear sunscreen & a hat. Wear sunscreen & a hat. Wear sunscreen & a hat.
  • Grief is universal.
  • No matter where they’re from or what language they speak, everyone understands the F-Bomb.
  • Being white and male can get you almost anything in this part of the world.
  • Fun is found wherever you choose to make it.
  • Asking an Arab ambulance driver to "Slow down" somehow gets translated to "Go faster and brake harder" by the time it hits his brain.
  • Wishing someone peace (Salaam) over here will always elicit a response in kind.
  • When people ask me, "What’s the worst thing you’ve seen in your job?" They really don’t want me to answer honestly. … Really.
  • Camels smell horrible on the inside as well as the outside.
  • There is a cure for stupid. Most folks call it death.
  • Wear your seatbelt.

I’m still learning.

–maddog