By Diana Coulter
 
A child's drawing from MyanmarA child’s terrible drawing of violence in Myanmar. People in crowded Bangladesh camps gently welcoming those who want to help them. Eager volunteers from the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society also pitching in with much-needed assistance.

Just days after arriving, these are a few early impressions from members of the Canadian Red Cross mobile medical team and their Mexican Red Cross colleagues.
 
Lynn Henderson (nurse, from Bridgetown, Nova Scotia):
 
An image that will stay with me for a long time was seeing a seven-month-old baby so tiny that she looked like a premature newborn. But thankfully, she is being treated at a field hospital now.
There’s so much poverty and tragedy in the camps but despite this, everyone has been so pleasant, kind and friendly to us. You would almost expect more anger and conflict around you, but we haven’t seen it.
 
Manuel Bergano (paramedic, Mexican Red Cross):
 
The other day we met another aid worker who showed us a terribly sad picture drawn by a little boy who was describing what happened to his family. It’s all in red ink and shows bullets shooting through From Bangladesh, Red Cross team members are providing supporthis hut. The boy and his mother are inside, but his father is dead on the ground. It’s just so terrible. I’m grateful that aid workers are now offering children like him emotional support and activities at child-friendly spaces.
 
Maria Munoz-Bertrand (doctor & team leader, from Montreal, Canada):
 
What really struck me in the transit centre, which is where newcomers first arrive at the camps, is how empty their tents are. Of course, there are people inside, but not much else. They bring almost nothing with them. And so many are very sick and starving.
 
Ola Dunin-Bell (doctor, from Whistler, BC and Oakville, Ontario):
 
After spending time at the camps, it can feel strange to come back to Cox’s Bazar, about 90 minutes by road away, because it’s a popular holiday beach town for many in Bangladesh. I’ll see families having fun together in their nice clothes, laughing, taking pictures and having big meals in hotels. It’s such a contrast when not too far away, there are also thousands of people struggling to stay alive.
 
Gerardo Escalante (paramedic, Mexican Red Cross):
 
What I see happening here is the world trying very hard to work together to help others. And I really appreciate the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society being so open to making things happen, to making a difference. It’s been so positive to have a counterpart like this that is so helpful and kind. That is the great wisdom in all of this.

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