Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pre-departure craziness...

This week has been full of meetings. I think it’s the pre-departure craze. You probably know what it’s like, trying to catch up with people and round things off in the week before going on a holiday. That’s my week. It started with a SLICH (Sierra Leone Institute For Child Health) Board meeting on Saturday and feels like it has been continuing non-stop ever since. The meetings mixed in with trying to fix a broken car have kept me on my feet.

First there was a meeting with the Disciplinary Committee at the hospital discussing the launch of the Committee, then a meeting with the heads of department concerning the disciplinary procedure, a meeting with the specialist-in-charge concerning the approval of forms for the medical charts, an ultrasound workshop, a meeting with my boss, a meeting with the lab technicians concerning a trip to the UK for training, a meeting with the two doctors traveling to Nigeria for their Primary Exams, a meeting with the other NGO in the hospital. It has definitely been a productive week, but I am glad that the weeks are usually a bit less hectic.

The funniest about all of these meetings is the difference in ‘style’. Where one meeting started at 8 prompt, others started an hour late or were re-scheduled to a ‘more convenient’ time. Some meetings were quick and to the point while others seemed to drag on and on. In one meeting, that seemed to have about 5 different closing moments, I thought picking up my notepad and pushing my chair back would have the needed effect to signal that the meeting should really end. It didn’t. Finally after another ten minutes I was asked if I would like to close the meeting. Quickly I adjourned the meeting! The other interesting thing about most of the meetings here is that people will usually answer their cell phones when they ring. This often includes the person chairing the meeting, meaning that everyone listens in on the phone conversation while waiting for the meeting to continue. It’s all very interesting.

On top of all of the meetings I am also trying to get last minute things done, like get the car fixed, sort out the finances, write up minutes to meetings, get a container of lab supplies cleared at the port, etc. Like I said, it is busy. But it is good. It’s hard to think that three months ago when I sat on the same chair, at the same desk in the same office I was trying to figure out what I was going to do everyday and wondering if things would fall into place. Well, I think I’ve found my routine and I can definitely say there is always enough to do!

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