Cheryl Elston - Leave

Running time
2 min 2 sec
Department of Veterans' Affairs


So I was there for about seven months with the advanced party and that, but, yes, we got two 48-hour leave breaks, where we went to Nairobi, in Kenya. And essentially, just went there, flew over there on a UN flight. We'd stay at a hotel, which was all pre-arranged, which had a swimming pool. Nairobi at the time wasn't very safe, so we were allowed to go out in groups and have a bit of a look around the local area, and then 48 hours later, we were flying back.

We were also, I think it was seven, eight days where we were actually allowed to go home. So a lot of people, obviously, with families and that flew home. I took the opportunity, and I went to Italy because you're allowed to use your fare to go wherever you wanted to go. So some people met their husbands or wives in Europe. Some people went home, obviously, to see kids and things like that.

And I was single, so I went to Italy to explore. I don't think we started because, obviously, they were trying to rotate people through, so I think it was about three months before the first couple of people. And so, obviously, it was very carefully managed, in particular, with the health, because we had to keep that capability at 100%. We couldn't let that affect. So, obviously, the chain of command looked at who could go when, and you're allocated.

People that had families and that, obviously, it was great for them to get home and go first. I didn't mind that. I think it was about four or five months in before, which was actually good because, by the time I got back there wasn't long to go.

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