Where does one begin to tell you all about the last few weeks?! So many new experiences, so many emotions, so much to say!
So the last few weeks have been exceptionally hectic with an increase in double the amount of patients we have seen since this time last year, as well as an absolutely fabulous visit from my Dad followed by an intense but amazing and encouraging visit from the director of 500 miles (www.500miles.org.uk).
Leading up to the weeks prior to Dad's visit I experienced my first chinkhonswe (traditional engagement party) as well as a modified Malawian hens party. The chinchonswe involved lots of money throwing and getting up to accept gifts to then pay for the gifts to give the married couple a starting basis for their lives together. Much learning ensued about the cultural differences and nuances one must experience to understand! The presentation of the chooks with the axe had me concerned but Hatty lived to see another day! The Malawain hens party however I care not to discuss but am exceptionally grateful that I come from a modern Australian society where some things just don't need to happen. All I'm saying ladies is that next time I attend a hens party at home I will be sure to bring a candle, a string and a pin for some hysterical party games!
The visit with Dad was fantastic! To have some one from home come into the life that you have created here and it to feel semi normal was on some occasions an overwhelming experience for him and me! The opening of my birthday gifts and other tidbits was like I was 5 years old and in a candy shop. A little bit overwhelming in terms of 21st century products and Australian necessities (insert cherry ripes, milo & vegemite)! Our trip included the best safari I have been on to South Luangua in Zambia where Dad & I braved the border crossing and came out alive to see all animals on our tick box! I think 2 of the best experiences were watching the leopards with their kill and then almost being able to touch another one as she hunted a pack of impalas. This came close to my almost but not quite up close and personal with George the giraffe my aunt Mary would have been proud!
Dad also got to experience life in a Malawian school with much singing and dancing and somewhat interesting classes. We are both now well aware of leaf arrangements. I think one of the special moments for me was Dad coming out on outreach with me to see what we do on a daily basis but to also see some of our old patients ecstatic with their progress.
We finished off the trip at the lake and a visit to one of the first Catholic missions in Malawi at Mua. Definitely a cultural experience not to be missed by all regardless of your religious connotations. The lake as always was peaceful and a great end to a great trip!
The last week has been jammed pack with meetings for our Director's visit. It has given me a new lease on life and motivation pushing the organisation to bigger and better things. So much progress to be made but heading in the right direction!
Today was also complete by having a gorgeous boy come in who we'd seen 6 weeks prior for his first below knee prosthetic. He is now walking without crutches and starting to play games with his friends. We are hoping to see him in October back playing football at school!
Below are a very very small selection of the last few weeks! More adventures to come!