Hope all is well at home. Gina and I apologize EMENSLY for not writing sooner! Thanks to all our roommates for keeping our friends and family up to date. We don’t want to repeat what everyone else has said so we have decided just to touch on each part, giving a brief description of our experience, memories, and at times terrors (mostly from the bugs)
The flight to Lusaka was long! However the 9 hours on the flight was plenty of time for myself (Brittany) to read all of book one of the Hunger Games- a very popular series among our group. Gina didn’t get much sleep, but enjoyed her gummy bears lol. Once in Lusaka we all were a little overwhelmed by the heat, but hearing about the -20 weather at home made us appreciate it a little more.
It was in Lusaka at our house that Gina got her nickname Flying cockroach after her comment “when you kill a cockroach it starts to fly” Wisdom she got from her cousin when she was little. As you can probably assume, bugs have been very happy to see us. From spiders to ants they all seemed to make us scream originally… Now only a select few have that honor.
The bus ride to mongu felt much longer then the flight. Sitting on a cramped bus, with no AC, No bathroom and minimal pit stops, 9 hours felt like 30. Side note: These pit stops consisted of bathrooms with trough (hole in the ground), or some contained toilets however no seats or paper. However with the bus ride we had some perks, we saw zebras, monkeys, warthogs and even the jumping things at the start of the lion king (cannot think of the name). When we finally got to Mongu, we both were grateful to be at our new “home”.
Since then we have learnt the powers of the sun and how quick even Gina can get burnt. We have learnt some Losi terms, and been familiarized with the village. Monday was our first day in the hospital. Gina was on the childrens ward this week and has already begun to see how much we take for granted in Canada. Many of the illness the children experience such as malnutrition, dehydration and diarrhea could be easily prevented at home. However there was a lot to be learnt working with these conditions and not to mention the kids were SO cute and brave!
My experience these past couple of days has been on the HIV ward and at a clinic in the community. Both have been busy, and both I have been so impressed by how much work the nurses do. Seeing over 150 patients on the HIV ward per day, we assessed vitals, medication adherence, lab work and follow up appointments. The next day was spent in a clinic outside the hospital where myself, Sylvia and one of the nurses would see patients, diagnose, and prescribe medications. It was a rather interesting experience as it is not something we would have the opportunity to do in Canada, and we were very hesitant to do here. However we offered some of our clinical knowledge and the nurses seemed very appreciative. Tomorrow we are off to another day of clinical, and then Friday we are off to Safari! What a hard work week ;)
We miss you all, hope to have pictures soon!
BritBrit and GG