Sunday, June 04, 2006

A visit to France

The Iraqi Ministry of Health bought a Gamma Cameras for the Nuclear Medicine centers in Iraq.
One of these Cameras was for Mosul Nuclear Medicine.
The Cameras we bought are up to date and need special skills and knowledges to operate it, and to interprete the results.

They chose two doctors from Mosul to train on the usage of this Camera in the country where it has been build (France), I was one of those two doctors.

April 30/2006 was the date in which we suppose to take the plane to Paris. the company correspondence in Iraq supposed to take care of the visa and the plane reservation. He took our passport for this purposes.

He sent me an e mail to be in Baghdad in a well known place where other doctors from Baghdad are gathered, to take special cars to take us to the airport. our date was at 9:00 am on 4/30/2006. our plane take of at 3:30 pm.
The extra time was to overcome any difficulties or problems in the road to the airport.

As you may know, the road from Mosul to Baghdad is not save, and not always easy to reach Baghdad. so we decided to go to Baghdad one day in advance just in case there is any problem in the road.

We arrange a taxi with a professional driver to pick us at 6:00 am just after the end of the curfew.
At 6:30 we were in the taxi ready to go, but all the bridges of the city were closed for no clear reason.
We stayed in the car waiting for the bridge to open till 11:00 am where they allow the cars to cross the bridge, but one at a time, we cross the bridge and so we pass the first obstacle, as we knew later the bridges closed again few minutes later for the rest of the day.

At the city of Baiji, mid way to Baghdad there was an explosion and the main street was closed, we forced to take a detour in an unpaved side way, after we left Baiji by few tens of kilometers there was a three American vehicle closing the high-way and all the car are forced to drive in the farms where there is no distinct way, just find a way to drive your car through and go on. It take about 45 minute in such a miserable sandy way.

After that the road to Baghdad was open with no problem except when we met an American high-way patrol, they move very slowly and don't allow any car to pass them, cars wait till they took an exit or change their way to move in their ordinary speed. We reached Baghdad about 6:00 PM. It was a 12 hours trip,usually take only 4 hours.

The next day we were all ready at the specified place , but a little problem arise, our passports are still in the French embassy for the Visas, the company correspondence suppose to pick the visa in the morning and meet us at 9:00 am. but he didn't show up. at 11:00 am we get him at his mobile phone, he told us that there were fire-shoot at the vicinity of the embassy and the road to the embassy is closed and he couldn't reach it, at 1:00 pm he call us saying he reached the embassy and waiting there for the passports and Visas. at 2:00 pm he arrived with the Taxis to take us to the airport.

We reached the Airport safely and completed the necessary arrangement and took our seats in the plane just at time.

Thanks God we are now in our way to Paris.

To be continued


Riot Starter said...

Very well articulated blog, you remind me of somebody I used to know. Keep up the good work and stay safe :)

madtom said...

Welcome back,

I am sure that I don't have to tell you, There is no place like home. I await the rest of your story with anticipation, and I am happy to see that your trip was a safe one.

Anonymous said...

TT, do you have any comments about the death of Zarchawi--I believe you had expressed a strong belief that he did not exist but was a fictional character used as a tool of the occupation. Any change of heart? What are some of your favorite rumors currently circulating on the subject?

Original_Jeff said...

I'll be interested to read more about your observations about Paris. Did you visit any Paris medical facilities?

I have been to Paris twice. I love the Eiffel Tower. The palace at Versailles is absolutely amazing and well worth the short trip to see it. The French know how to build excellent trains! The Paris subway is very convenient, and the fast cross country TGV trains are excellent-- Paris-to-London in 2 hrs 35 minutes through the channel tunnel!

waldschrat said...

Welcome back, Truthteller!

Anonymous said...

Bonjour, Truth Teller.

Are you too busy playing with your new grandson :)
to finish your post?

Pat in NC said...

It is great that Iraq is now starting to update their equipment and promoting the education to use it's great potential in patient care. You have written before of the lack of ordinary supplies and needed medication to allow you to relieve the suffering of your patients. I hope the fact that you are getting state of the art equipment is an idication that less sophisticated needs are finally available to you as well. As a retired health professional I am hopeful that Iraqi health care
is soon state of the art in all aspects.

慢慢來 said...