Footprints in the Dust: Nursing, Survival, Compassion, and Hope with Refugees Around the World

Pegasus. Oct. 2018. 304p. bibliog. ISBN 9781681778648. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781681779294. SOC SCI
Gately follows up on her 2012 fictional account of a humanitarian aid worker, Lipstick in Afghanistan, with a memoir of her own life. As a young ER nurse, seeking more fulfillment in life, she begins her journey as an aid worker by signing up with a fledgling nonprofit to work at a refugee camp in Afghanistan in 1986. While her first stint is short, it ignites a passion, and Gately returns many times to care for refugees in Afghanistan, Macedonia, Iraq, and Sudan. Gately prioritized care for women and children because she found them to be the most vulnerable. In this honest account, the author introduces the harsh realities of life as an aid worker, including the possibilities of being captured, raped, or killed, along with the disappointment of not being able to help everyone in need. In the stories of the people she meets, Gately highlights resilience and recovery and only briefly expresses doubt that her work makes a difference. Included at the end are a short list of aid groups and a glossary of acronyms.
VERDICT A must-read for anyone concerned with the plight of refugees—and that should be all of us.

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