Chasing Chaos: The Real-Life Story of a Humanitarian Aid Worker

New memoir details the realities and debunks the misconceptions about humanitarian aid.
4:32 | 11/08/13

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Transcript for Chasing Chaos: The Real-Life Story of a Humanitarian Aid Worker
I'm Martha Raddatz with on the radar for ABC news and Yahoo! News and today we are speaking to Jessica Alexander she is the author of chasing chaos. My decade in and out of humanitarian. Aid. -- haven't been given to eighth NCAA. Well I Palin is 24 hour and was my idea let's say you're an intern when you went to. -- -- -- Yes people were returning from Tanzania to -- that so I was stealing a lot went -- -- though the housing of those refugees in dealing with some of the aftermath. You know just re integrating back into a country then and so broke and after that you then went -- yak. And so that was where I really you know cut my teeth they say that was an active conflict you went to a period where you were. Distinguish my disillusionment came from you know realizing that it's. These are systemic problems and -- and -- communities working to save lives in the aftermath huge disasters but a lot of them -- -- Conflicts and some of the national disasters that -- are due to you know lack of good governance lack of preparedness was there ever a moment -- and where were you when you start. With this this isn't like. Well he was a real turning point just in that -- -- still many organizations and some talent and -- people coming down town hall. Everything from church groups to begin relief -- TU Scientologist. And there were really no standards pilots people could or couldn't. Coming -- I mean it's impossible to Courtney out those groups and I think at that point you know it became very clear that well intentioned people who wanted to help -- -- again. Really work causing confusion and passed. This struck my Arianna I'm sure you know whatever to say. We also see the alcohol fueled parties and fleeting romance it's not burn -- and self doubt -- human beings are not saints and I think you know a lot of people have misconceptions about to aid workers -- that -- -- were hippies or where Mother Teresa says hammer out there to save in the world and you know -- normal people. And yes we may have parties and we -- socialize but to coping mechanism I mean and it's not like it's happening all the time it's happening. After working back to back to back to back you know. Twenty hour days and to greatly tough circumstances. When you look at what's happening soon. Hopefully you will need a number of refugees we were in the chief camping in Jordan yeah. 20000 out there Armenia one of the biggest cities in Jordan yes explain to people white that is unsustainable. Not only in the camps as he -- but most of the refugees are actually outside of camps. And -- -- these are fragile economy is themselves and so you have to think about jobs. Medical care I mean and matching hanging willing you are you an -- to 500000 people. Using that -- -- bed subway system -- health care it means children going to school. I mean it's it's completely unsustainable I'm sure there's not just one day that's been the hardest for you that. -- its most memorable there was a 50000 person camp in northern -- for at the time and and nearby -- area had just gotten attacked him to 24000 more people flocked to that camp and there just wasn't enough capacity to hold them and what's -- states. And so they built -- new camp right next door -- -- so many people coming to the camp. And we just felt. Overwhelmed and -- so many people in need and have such small amount to provide. That. Experience reflects just kind of -- -- -- -- was a really tough time for me it was a really hard for -- actually we integrate back home once I got back. Thank you very much Jessica is fascinating. The name of the book chasing chaos -- decade in an out of humanitarian aid. By Jessica Alexander thanks for having me. Thanks that's it -- on their radar today for ABC news and Yahoo! News I'm Martha Raddatz you can follow me on Twitter at -- about it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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