Sunday, March 25, 2012

Many plans...

I can't believe it's the end of March already. And three months since Christmas. Incredible. It is definitely getting hotter here - March is known as the hottest month in Sierra Leone. I think we're in the lower thirties these days. Celsius that is. Anyway, things are well but busy as always. Someone was talking about being bored in Sierra Leone last week - I don't think I have ever been bored here.

The next few weeks are really busy:

Research: two colleagues arrive at the hospital tomorrow to start their research for a Masters they are doing in public health. I'm helping them with the research which is exciting but means more work too. We have a meeting at the Statistics Sierra Leone office tomorrow to look at some detailed community maps and hope to meet one of the leaders in the community later in the day. We will be doing surveys and focus group discussions with community members - looking at health seeking behaviour - what do they do when their child has a fever? I am sure it will be interesting.

Kenema: I am finally going upcountry for work! I have been asked by a VSO nurse educator to help facilitate a mentorship workshop for nurses at Kenema Government Hospital. I am excited about that. Not only because I'll be out of Freetown for three days but more so because I can take two of our own Sierra Leonean nurses along so that they can learn what it means to be mentors and help facilitate the next ETAT course we do in the Children's Hospital. My colleague, Suzanne, will help with the workshop as well. We head off very early Tuesday morning with a local bus and hope to be back Thursday evening.

Board meetings: on Saturday I have two Board meetings - one for SLICH (Sierra Leone Institute of Child Health) in which I take the minutes and give some advice (I'm not an official board member) and one for ETC (Enable the Children) where I am a Board member and will likely minute the meeting. Exciting stuff is happening in both SLICH and ETC and it is great to be a part of it.

Easter: the plan is to trek for 4 days - first by car to the south of the country, then by ferry to Bonthe, then by speed boat to Turtle Islands and then by speed boat back to Freetown. I've been wanting to go to these islands for a while, so I hope we are successful. It will definitely be an adventure.

And then there's the usual: trying to sort out radiology, laboratory, attend academic sessions, finally finally handover finances to the new program manager, support the team where I can, help implement some of the SLICH projects and maybe get in some more clinical work. Oh, and start studying! I'm still waiting for a table for in my room and for some reason have gotten it into my mind that the table is essential for the launching of my study program....

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