Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Reunion at Mercy Ships...

I called Liz, a friend and former colleague, to ask if I could drop by at the Aberdeen West African Fistula Center & Outpatient Pediatric clinic late afternoon. She agreed and so at about 4pm I taxied my way down to Aberdeen, While walking to the center from the beach roundabout where I had the taxi drop me, a couple of adults stopped me and said they were glad I returned. Not knowing who they were, they quickly proceeded to explain I had treated their children in the clinic. Sweet.

When I entered the ‘Mercy Ships’ compound I saw a couple of staff signing out for the day. They were very surprised to see me and very excited. Next thing I saw was Thomas, one of the lab technicians, run out of his lab to greet me. Apparently they had just been discussing whether or not I was still in Haiti or back in Holland. They had not yet been told I was coming back to Sierra Leone. Soon more staff came out of the kitchen, the wards and the clinic. One aunty even pinched my arm to make sure I was real! It was fun to see them all; it was a joyful reunion. The only downside was everyone telling me I had gotten fat; a genuine compliment in Sierra Leone. Here’s hoping to dropping a few pounds.

Liz then showed me around the center and introduced me to new staff. I think I met 6 expat staff and there are a few who I have yet to meet. The two biggest changes for me were: the lab at a new location (the old classroom) and the brand new antenatal clinic with delivery suite (in the former hostel). I was impressed. However, it was a little surreal to walk through the midwifery unit and see a few ladies lying there with tiny babies in their cots. What a huge development. It’s great to see both prevention and cure for fistulas take place in the same compound.

It was great to be back at the AWAFC to meet up with former colleagues and see the outpatient clinic still running. I am so thankful I was able to start/manage the clinic and that it continues to run well. I’m hoping this next job ahead will be as successful.


Amanda Kane said...

Hi Sandra! I have been keeping up with your blog mostly, but did I miss you telling how long you'd be in Sierra Leone? Do you know why I wonder? Well, I have an itch to travel, but it wouldn't be for a while yet. So I wonder how long you are there.....

Sandra's Latest... said...

Hi Amanda,

I'm here at least till mid-Nov, hopefully till next summer though!

Thanks for following me. I hope you're doing well.
And you are always welcome to visit. We need more nurses here to help with training!!!


~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~