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  • Writer's pictureHumans of International Studies

FANTINE and PELLE (Alumni) 2/2


Trigger Warning: Accident

One of the most memorable, but unfortunate experiences is one from our time in Armenia. We wanted to see more of the countryside and booked a tour towards the border of Azerbaijan with private driver and a car including seatbelts.

Fantine: “I was almost falling asleep after having driven through beautiful landscapes for a few hours, when I suddenly saw a Mercedes speeding towards us from the opposite side of the road. I remember starting to shake and hoping that our driver would keep us safe.”

“After the crash happened, I remember grabbing my purse – my passport was in there – and leaving the car since I was afraid that the car would catch fire and explode. I tried to walk but I could not maintain my balance and collapsed.”

Pelle: “She was laying on the ground, completely pale, having a tough time talking, and only being able to move her legs, as I was standing in the middle of nowhere, without service, not knowing what had happened because I had a concussion. Some cars approached and people offered blankets, and even alcohol to reduce the stress and pain so, at one point, Fantine was laying there with 15 blankets on top of her. Only when I went back to the car to get my phone and glasses, I realised that there was another car involved in the crash. The drivers’ head was on the steering wheel unconscious and people told me: “You can smell that he is drunk”."

"Eventually, someone offered to take us to the nearest hospital, an open building with only 3 rooms and one bed. There, I had to wait in the hallway and the only thing I knew was that Fantine had trouble breathing. After waiting for a few hours a nurse approached me and said: “She is going to survive!”. We received a call from the tourist agency and they brought us to a military hospital even closer to the frontline, where all the soldiers that got wounded in the recent conflict had gone to. The scan told us that the nurse was right, Fantine had ‘only’ broken 4 ribs."

Fantine: “So always wear your seatbelts, wherever you are, it saves lives!”

(Fantine, 21, France and Pelle, 22, the Netherlands)

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