Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Small victories...

I was reminded today that it’s the small things in life that count.

Some of us ladies are listening to Beth Moore’s studies and in one of the videos she talks about a child who said: “I win” after everything he did. That’s how I felt today. At various times I felt like I was on the winning side. I felt like raising my hand and saying “I win”.

It’s nice to feel that way when for weeks it seemed like there was no progress and I was constantly questioning our presence in the hospital. I was wondering if anything we did or said was making a difference. Are we actually achieving anything or just wasting our time?

On a day like today I am convinced that all of the little things we achieve day in and day out do amount to something. All of those little things add up to something bigger, something more significant and, in the end, we win. We’re not there yet. There’s still a lot to do. But it’s encouraging to see little glimpses of hope along the way.

So, what made me feel like a winner today? Really, it was just a lot of little things that when they happened made me feel like I am here for a reason. They made me feel like what we do in the hospital does matter. Honestly, it was many little events that happened throughout the day reminding me that this is an amazing place and I do want to be a part of what is going on here.

So, today’s ‘little things’ are:
- A few hours alone in the office, finishing up some documents
- Sorting through ETAT equipment and office supplies
- Discussing practical, realistic ways to improve the lab with the head of lab
- Laminating standard operating procedures for the lab (instant feeling of productivity!)
- Arranging to sit in with a medical officer in outpatients next week
- An excellent meeting with a radiologist in town
- The ‘go ahead’ from all sides to proceed with a digital x-ray system
- A run on Lumley beach from Atlantic to Family Kingdom
- ‘Running into’ two friends along the way and chatting briefly
- Being given a packet of water for free from the man selling near Family Kingdom
- The rainbow I spotted in the sky and the bright blue sky before sunset
- Sitting on the beach with a friend chatting about life
- Fun conversations on the drive home
- Laughing with a friend

When I look at that list I think, “they really are small things” but as little as they are, they make me smile. These little things make me feel satisfied at the end of the day. They remind me to stop worrying about the big tasks ahead and focus on the day-to-day. I need to focus ore on the little things in life, the little things that when added up enable us to reach our goal.

Today, “I win”.

Monday, May 28, 2012

A very diverse day...

Today is one of those days that I ended up doing a wide range of work. Unfortunately no clinical work but that will come.

I spent the day working with one of the research assistants uploading interviews from our health-seeking behavior research for translation, finishing off paperwork for an audit, discussing generator issues, organizing finances, sorting out training items (like resuscitation dolls, ambubags etc), ordering a cooking gas bottle for the flat, finalizing a computer course for medical records staff, printing off various templates so that staff can submit ideas that need to be funded, working on the radiology proposal, arranging a variety of meetings and answering emails. Lots to do. I think the fact that one of my colleagues is on holiday has added to my workload a little (which is why I am involved with finances and maintenance issues again – albeit temporarily thankfully!).

This week is a busy week full of meetings:
• Meeting with one of the only radiologists in country to discuss x-ray equipment
• Meeting with deputy chief medical officer in the Ministry to discuss x-ray room staff
• Meeting with head of hospital and senior laboratory technician
• Clinical meeting with all doctors
• Meeting a lab technician from the USA who may insight into ways to improve our lab
• Meeting with the physiotherapist re: his presentation on his work here
• Meeting with the auditors to discuss yet another audit
• Possibly the start of continuing professional development meetings
• A hospital management meeting

As you can see, there is a lot going on here. And if all of those meetings actually take place, it will be amazing. Although it sometimes seems like nothing happens, there is progress. Small small. And I decided today that small progress is better than no progress at all. There’s a lot to do, and it will take a long time. That’s why we’re in this for the long run!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bupa 10k Team need final push to meet their Target for The Welbodi Partnership...

After a great response our 'Welbodi Partnership' team is all ready for the Bupa 10,000 road race in London. Following the Olympic circuit the race starts in St James Park and takes in some of London's most famous sites.

Some of our runners met up for a training run around the Serpentine on Sunday and enjoyed what is hopefully the start of the summer weather.

If you have not donated to any of the pages yet please do so and send this out to all your friends, we are well on our way to our target and helping save more children's lives in Sierra Leone.

Our team consists of:

Viviana Olivetto, Helen Rehr, Caitlin McQuilling, Baljinder Singh, Marieke Heijnen, Claire Studley

Click on the links to visit their Just Giving page and boost them up to meet their targets!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

AWC Outpatient Clinic celebrates 7 years...

10 May 2005: The outpatient clinic (OPC) for children opened.
10 May 2012: The outpatient clinic is thriving, seeing a couple hundred patients a week.

We celebrated the OPC's 7th birthday. I am very thankful to have been a part of the OPC for so many years. When I first arrived in Sierra Leone in 2005 I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into. My mission was to open a clinic. After a few weeks in Sierra Leone I learned that child mortality was the highest in the world and there were no pediatric facilities in Aberdeen and surrounding areas. My love for children and the dire need for pediatric care made the decision making process easy: we would start with an outpatient clinic for children. The work was very rewarding but also challenging. The days were often long (especially when it was just me in the clinic trying to see 55-65 patients a day!) and cases sometimes severe. By God's grace and an excellent OPC team, we carried on. And now, 7 years later, the clinic is still seeing numerous patients a day. I'm thankful to God, the OPC/AWC team and my friends and family for their support.

The future of the clinic is in God's hands. Please pray for guidance and wisdom for those currently working there and provision of staff in the near future. The future is in His hands.

Photo with Badara, former patient, now 6 years old, who first came to me in the clinic when he was two days old.

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