Thursday, June 21, 2018

First 24 hours...

I arrived in Freetown last night after being away for a month. I had a great time on my three country trip but it was really good to come home! 

Besides the fact that the electricity cut out at around 3am meaning my fan switched off and it got pretty warm, I slept quite well. Thankfully the power came back and my fan cooled the room down again. Breakfast today consisted of tea with a Basha donut, courtesy of my housemate who was very considerate to buy some 'welcome back donuts' yesterday. 

Within 10 hours of arriving home I walked out of the front door and out of the gate to find a taxi to take me to work. On arrival I was warmly welcomed by staff at AWC, which is always encouraging and fun, except for the comments about how I’ve gained weight because I was fed so well while on leave. This is one of those cultural things I will never quite appreciate. Is it really okay to tell someone they are fat?! I'm sure the donut this morning didn't help. ;)

There were about 45 patients waiting in the clinic when I arrived and they had probably been waiting since 5 or 6 am already. That’s the way it works here - no appointments and people come early to make sure they are seen that day. Thankfully clinic didn’t get too busy and we were able to take our time during the consultations. I even had time for lunch, which was rice with potato leaves - my favorite AWC meal.

My first patient was an infant who needed to be referred due to severe pneumonia. I also saw a child with epilepsy, a 5 year old weighing 11 kilograms and a child who had been mismanaged at a pharmacy who I diagnosed with malaria and started on treatment. I saw others with acute respiratory tract infections, skin conditions like scabies and diarrhoeal disease. It’s definitely never dull! I even had a little time left over at the end of the afternoon to update one of our protocols. 

After work I found a taxi to take me to Aberdeen road junction, walked to a supermarket to pick up a few essential items and then walked home from there, ignoring quite a few “white girl” comments on the way. Another one of those things I have never gotten used to!

I had a relaxing evening at home, which is a nice change since I usually come home and have to start studying right away. Thankfully module 3 of my MPH doesn’t start for another week. 

Alright, that’s it for a little glimpse of my first 24 hours back in Sierra Leone. More another day. It’s bed time now.

#lifeinsierraleone #sierraleone #alwaysanadventure #outpatientclinic #AWC 

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