Thursday, 22 October 2015

Good byes, good stories, good changes.

It's been a few weeks since writing and I don't know where to begin.

Here as part of our clinic we have had an exchange program with FK Norway which have provided invaluable knowledge to our staff.  However the rotation ended this year and I said goodbye to some now very close friends.  Many tears ensued and my sanity levels may have dropped but with the absence of my Norwegian sister and Ernie my waist line is hopefully decreasing as our cake dates are no longer and her wonderful baking has gone back to Norway!  6 months and we will re-unite!  It gives me time to increase the swimming and running to prepare for more cake!

The clinic is still busy and we're seeing an average of 150 patients per month with over 100 devices.  There is never a dull moment.  We have seen some of our regulars recently.  One girl has made me smile continuously this week when she danced for me in gratitude for getting back her extension prosthesis as it needed repairs.  These cases is what it is all about.  There is obviously the flip side and we have seen some shocking burns and infections recently that really could have been prevented.  Burns awareness and education around fire safety is desperately needed.

We had a visit from the Scottish Minister for Europe & International Development.  Mr Humza Yousaf and his team engaged with the clinic and it was great to share our stories and also hear about the other Scottish Malawi Partnerships he was to see for the remainder of his trip.

It's not all work and no play.  2 gorgeous weekends at the lake both at Cape Mac and at Senga Bay.  Great company, good swimming and amazing fish! Oh to live by the lake!  Social events coming up in Lilongwe include breast cancer awareness walk, Lilongwe beer festival (where there will be beer other than Carlsberg served - hooray) and the Lilongwe colour run!

The past few weeks with interesting meetings, changes in staff and the odd cultural 'battle' that requires emphathy and understanding from my part as well as patience (A LOT OF PATIENCE) have tested me.  But in the words of Anne & Ailsa in Frozen ... LET IT GO!!!  Or another quote I saw recently was 'if it doesn't challenge you it won't change you'. I think my personal challenges have changed me - all for the better!

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