And, I'm back in Freetown. YAY! I arrived Wednesday evening after an uneventful flight but very stormy boat ride and reached my apartment at around 10pm thanks to ‘my’ most reliable taxi driver, Farah. I went in to work Thursday morning and I can say it is good to be back.
Multiple times today and yesterday I've been greeted with: "Yu don loss", which is one of my favorite Krio phrases literally meaning "you were lost" and translates to "I haven't seen you for some time" or "You've been away". Yes, I have been gone, but I’m back. I’ve been found again. : ) And it’s busy.
I spent yesterday catching up, briefing my colleagues on the Directors meeting in London, meeting with the other 2 partners in the hospital to make sure we collaborate (I think there are more expats in the hospital now than ever before – now with 10!), meeting with the medical superintendent, etc. Today started with a meeting with UNFPA discussing how we can work together to improve the neonatal unit (very exciting!) after which I made my way to the hospital. After giving some donors a tour of the hospital it was back to business. I met briefly with the hospital manager to discuss some proposals they are working on, checked up on a few things on the wards, talked with the medical officer overseeing the (skeleton) x-ray department, arranged meetings with the Director of Hospitals in the Ministry of Health, tried to confirm a meeting with the country’s Chief Medical Officer, took some pictures of the medical records department for a conference, answered some emails. Yeah, it’s back to business as usual.
Strangely I came back to a fairly quiet hospital. There were only 11 patients in ward 3 today and about 15 in ward 1. Usually there are 40 (sometimes 50) patients in each of those wards. The Emergency room has only had 3 patients most of the day and the Feeding Centre is pretty quiet too. On the flip side, the Intensive Care is still quite busy and the Special Care Baby Unit is packed! I think for the medical officers, the quieter days are very welcome. They have been working very hard on the wards.
Alright they have finished fumigating my office, so I am heading home now. Hope I’ll be home by half past 6!