Blood in my shoes, a ‘saline- shower’, rats in the bronchoscopy trolley and the office, big grasshoppers on the wall, cockroaches running around and at the end of the day a patient just walks out of theatre after minor surgery, barefooted and making a phonecall! Life in an Malawian Operating Theatre! No day is the same and everyday has new surprises and challenges! No water? NO problem. We’ll just get some, from somewhere and there you go! Frustrations? Yeah sometimes, but mostly a smile on my face!
The days at work can be either pretty slow or really busy! But still interesting and great times! I’m getting a bit exhausted, probably because both physically and emotionally it’s pretty tough. Back home I’m spoiled by only working 4 days a week and having proper lunch breaks, whereas here I’m working 5 days a week at least from 8-5 and most days no lunch break or breaks at all. I’m not complaining just justifying the fact that I feel slightly exhausted…
Have been working a lot with students lately which is really great! They are really enthusiastic and eager to learn, although not enthusiastic enough to give up their lunch breaks of 1,5 -2,5 hrs! Besides having students coming through we also have some new nurses. The nurses are all general nurses without any Theatre training, a nice challenge for me! Happy to be here, although I’m still figuring out the best way of making a real difference.
As most of you probably already know, I’ve extended for a month, so I’ll come home the 21st of July instead of next week. But, I’ll only be home for a couple weeks and return to Malawi mid-September! There is so much more to do! Besides work I’m really enjoying living in Malawi! Have lots of fun with my housemates and friends from church! Today, one of the Malawian anesthetists came up to me and asked me why I wanted to stay in Malawi and why I really like living here… somehow a tough question to answer. Having powercuts almost every evening, sometimes no running water, no central heating while it is getting cooler, lots of mosquito’s and therefore risk of malaria, slow internet, long evenings (getting dark at 5.30pm), no car etc… I still really enjoy it. I’m happy. I like the Malawian culture, the colors, the friendly people, the challenges and surprises and of course the weather and the beautiful country side! And working here is satisfying, more than back home. And yeah… it’s a calling! “The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it” (1 Thes. 5:24)