While I am waiting to travel to Sri Lanka in January I have been writing a few stories of my time in the field.

In 1978, I was 25-years old and living in the US. I was single at the time, working in a permanent job at the United Nations Secretariat with many prospects in front of me. It was a situation that many people would consider fortunate, even privileged. I had manage to escape the constricted life I was living in Colombo and found my way to New York, the city  that never sleeps. I had found a good job and established myself. The future looked good. But I was restless! There was no purpose to my life.

Working at the UN was exposing me to many global problems. The world was trying to cope with change and my days were filled with Security Council meetings. My job as the Documents Liaison Officer required my presence in the Security Council chamber during the sessions and I got to listen to what was really going on in various parts of the world.

In March of that year, after a massacre of its citizens on a northern coastal road, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) invaded Lebanon to create a buffer zone and prevent further attacks on their border settlements. Following many late night meetings, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was created by the security council to keep the warring sides apart. As there was some urgency to have the UNIFIL deployed in South Lebanon, the UN called for volunteers amongst its HQ staff to serve with this newly created force which was forming in Israel. A part of the UNIFIL mandate was to extend assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons.

I jumped at the chance to volunteer and a few weeks later found myself in the middle east. The short stories I have written cover my time with the UN Peacekeeping Forces. They can be found under the menu heading Background , Stories from the Field. I hope you enjoy them.