Wednesday, June 22, 2011

West-side Wednesday...

Yesterday one of my colleagues arrived in Salone after a few weeks away. Her flight was delayed so we ended up at the flat at midnight and talked until 1 am. A late night plus the fact that our driver was home sick, made the decision easy to forego the 6:50 am trek to work. My plan was to wake up at 8 am and head in by 9 am. However, plans changed and I ended up on the West side for most of today.

After breakfast and more catching up with my colleague we headed to the Welbodi office on Spur Road for an actual Welbodi catch-up meeting with the three of us. It was good to talk through current projects and do a bit of discussing and planning. There is progress in the air. We then carried on working.

At about 1 pm we went to Mamba Point for lunch (a 5-minute walk from the office), a real treat. I then worked until 4 pm when National Power cut out. I had been umming and awing about whether or not I should run some errands in town but was not eager to deal with transport. However, lack of power at the office made my decision easier.

First stop: Medical and Dental Council. I walked to the roundabout and got a one-way taxi to New England. I was first told by the secretary to come back the following day. However, she swiftly changed her mind and asked me to wait a minute. Sure enough, ten minutes later she presented me with my registration document. Bingo!

Second stop: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA). As soon as I stepped out of the Medical council building a taxi drove by and took me to Siaka Stevens street. I then walked up to Gloucester Street. Seeing as my visa runs out in July I needed to get that sorted out! This of course, is a multi-step process. Last Thursday I collected the forms at the MoFA. On Friday I submitted the forms, my passport and photos to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS). The MoHS was very quick to write a letter on my behalf and delivered the documents to the MoFA on the very same Friday. Impressive! I went today to see what the status was and found out that it should be ready on Friday. Great! My second aim was to get the phone number for the guy in the MoFA office, so that next time I can simply call to check the status. Mission accomplished!

Third stop: Connaught Hospital. I walked from Gloucester Street to Connaught, dodging traffic. I went to visit a patient – an 8 year old who I referred from the Children’s Hospital to Mercy Ships initially after which I ended up referring them to an orthopedic surgeon at Connaught. Turns out a month later, with confirmation from a pathologist, that the boy does have cancer. The doctor told his mom the news yesterday and so I wanted to see how they were coping. They are saddened. They will be discharged home to Kono; with hopefully enough pain medication so that the boy will not suffer. Unfortunately his prognosis is very poor. Heartbreaking!

Fourth stop: Home. From Connaught it’s a bit tricky to get a taxi. Not today. I got a taxi on Siaka Stevens. However, when driving along Campbell Street the driver then told me to ‘get out’. It sounded a bit harsh, but he was actually doing me a favor. He told me to get out and cross the street and wait opposite the Mende church on Dillet Street for a taxi that goes straight to Wilberforce. So, I did just that. Within a few minutes I was in a taxi on a one-way journey to Bottom Mango in Wilberforce. Perfect!

After a successful day I decided to go for a short run at half past 6. Start: Bottom Mango roundabout. Finish: Lumley police station roundabout. A quick, downhill run along Spur Road, followed by a brief walk to Lumley roundabout and then a taxi ride back up Spur Road. Fortunately there was no traffic going up Spur Road, going down it was at a standstill. More success!

When I reached home it was time for a shower (yeah for water!), some food (leftover pasta with vegetable and tomato sauce), Bible Study preparation and a bit of work. And now, it’s time for bed. It’s been a good Wednesday.

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