Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Good Bye Mongu

We can’t believe that our time in Mongu is already up. It has been a truly amazing and unforgettable experience. We look back and remember our excitement as we got off the plane and felt that first wave of humidity. But now this wonderful place feels like home. We have fallen into routine, gotten to know the locals, tried to learn some Lozi (without much success), and can wake up without sweat because our bodies have finally adapted to the climate.

Mongu has left a lasting impression. The thunderstorms were memorable and amazing, although frightening to Susie. The sunsets were breathtaking, especially when viewed over the floodplains. The random and scheduled power outages were a bit inconvenient, but we made it work. Even if we showered by head lamp or played cards with 6 flashlights shining on the table. Our time here has shown us that the life of networking, internet, and electricity is not a necessity in life. We have learned to live without it and it has been a lesson we are thankful for.

Our nursing experiences here that have left lasting memories in our minds and hearts. From Mutoya camp, to Lewanika hospital, teaching, and delivering babies; we have had experiences that have been meaningful to us. There have been moments of heartache, tears, and frustration. We have had to help each other debrief about the things we have seen and remind eachother that we aren’t here to change the world but to live in each moment and do the best that we can.  We have grown as individuals and this experience has helped transform our nursing practice to one that is more culturally sensitive, empathetic, and resourceful.

At the beginning of this journey neither of us really knew the other students coming with us, but after having spent this time together and experiencing laughter, tears, and similar stories, we have made lasting relationships and we will truly miss the close community we have developed. 

Now we are saying good-bye: To Mongu, to the welcoming Lozi people, to the wonderful doctors, nurses, and nursing students that we had the pleasure of working with over the last few weeks.  To the staff at Mutoya camp. To our instructors. and to each other. The other day it hit us that we were leaving when we had to say goodbye to our favourite chef, Lloyd. He cooked for us again this weekend and we will always remember how he filled our bellies with the best Mongu rice, eggs, and green leafy thing that we still don’t know the name of. So good bye Mongu, you will be forever in our hearts.

Susie and Rachel

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