Lisa French Blaker has seen the worst and best of humanity while working in countries that have been torn apart by war.
And she says she will never stop being outraged at how wicked and cruel humans can be to each other.
Blaker has worked as a nurse in conflict zones worldwide with the humanitarian agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders).
Her skills have been put to the test in Sri Lanka, Darfur and Iraq.
The Auckland nurse is back in New Zealand after a two-month stint in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, where she was nursing British troops suffering "horrific" injuries.
Before Iraq, Blaker worked for nine months in Darfur and in an effort to bring people's attention to the plight of the people there, she wrote a book called Heart of Darfur.
The 36-year-old, who spends her down times working in Middlemore's trauma unit, is about to tour the country to promote the book.
Darfur, in western Sudan, has been torn apart by violence since 2003 when opposition groups took up arms against the government because of a lack of government protection for their people and underdevelopment of the region.
The government of Sudan responded by allowing free reign to Arab militias known as the Janjaweed (guns on horseback) who began attacking villages, killing, raping and abducting people, destroying homes and other property, including water sources and looting livestock.
Amnesty International said on its website the links between the Sudanese armed forces and the Janjaweed were solid with the Janjaweed now wearing uniforms provided by the army.
Since the conflict began, Amnesty International has reported more than two million people displaced from their homes and tens of thousands killed.
During her time in Darfur, Blaker helped women who had been viciously raped, babies suffering from malaria and children who had been shot .
"We do come away feeling like we've made a difference because that's what drives you on to do it again.
"If you feel despair you tend to feel despondent and if you feel despondent you give up. "
Blaker said she understood how people living a world away in New Zealand could feel helpless to help in such a complicated situation, and recognised they could suffer from "compassion fatigue" .
"I'm quite aware that people who open the newspaper and read about what's happening in Turkey or Afghanistan or Burma or Iraq. There's so much out there, you've got to choose what to let into your mind, into your heart, because you can't take it all in.
"So for the people who choose to let Darfur in, which is always going to be a minority, I'm hoping that they will choose to do something, not just feel depressed about it."
Blaker said her team was under constant surveillance by armed government troops who would arbitrarily shut down their clinics and arrest anyone with gunshot wounds regardless of whether they were children.
She was constantly shocked with violence the army troops were capable of.
"I challenge anyone who says that they are numb to it.
"It is soul destroying to see how wicked one person can be to another. That's probably what's broken my heart about Darfur.
"It's frightening when you look into somebody's eyes and you know they simply don't care.
"They don't care whether you live or die, they don't care whether the people around you live or die."
Blaker said she was drawn to working in places like Darfur because everything superficial was stripped away, everything felt more vivid with more clarity.
"You connect with people more quickly and more intensely. People are more honest. There's a lot of powerful emotion in all the trips I've done.
"I recommend the experience."
But she said it was frustrating dealing with governments whose agendas had nothing to do with saving their own people.
"Government reports would say that there was nothing happening, that there was no insecurity, that things were okay and that problems were just being blown out of proportion.
"But I was the one seeing the battered patients, the damaged patients, women who had been really badly nastily assaulted and raped."
Blaker said Darfur's Minister for Humanitarian Affairs' previous job was to organise and arm the Janjaweed.
"If anyone wanted to complain about abuses they had suffered, they could report it to him.
"But they're not because he was one of the organisers of the genocide. The government is laughing at us. They know what they are doing ."
However, Darfur has been getting a surprise helping hand from Hollywood elite A-listers.
George Clooney and his father Nick have spoken extensively about the situation to the UN Security Council and Angelina Jolie has written a number of articles.
"Some people have been dismissive saying `That's Hollywood superstars just putting on their humanitarian hat for a bit of PR'.
"In actual fact, speaking for myself and I think for a lot of people in Darfur, they don't care who is trying to raise awareness of their cause, and if people are going to listen to people like George and Angelina then all power to them. Whatever it takes to get people to listen."
Blaker was bemused to hear LA socialite Paris Hilton was planning a trip to Rwanda next month to highlight the plight of the people there.
"Get off. Really?"
However, she said Clooney and Jolie had been "well groomed" and had been well informed on the issues.
"They're not just floosies - and I'm thinking of Paris Hilton - going out there," she said.
Blaker said she was almost worn out with the frontline work and may one day work behind the scenes with organisations such as Amnesty International.
"I know you can't take on all the cares of the world, but I feel I've opened doors and seen what's going on out there a bit more than the people around me.
"I can't now close the door and forget what's out there and go back to shopping at Westfield Plaza and worrying about whether I'm going to get the washing dried this weekend."
- NZPABy Rebecca Quillam