Since the last time we blogged, we've had quite the experience here in Zambia! We went on a 2 day Safari to a place called Mukambi Lodge. It was nothing like what we expected; it was a 100 times better!! We didn’t even feel like we were in Africa, it felt more like an all-inclusive 5 star lodge down by the lake. It was nice to take a break from 4 days at the hospital haha doesnt sound like a long time but it sure felt like it. We really enjoyed the fact that all 24 of us plus our instructors could spend a weekend together, stress free :) After the weekend it was back to the hospital we went. Pavan was on Antenatal, Kiran was in the Theatre (OR), Sonam was on the peds ward and Gina did an outreach placement at a clinic. It was an eventful week, definetly had its up's and down's with patients passing away. The best part about our week was we had a baby who was assumed to be a still-born but turned out to be a miracle baby as he survived and is now on the Antenatal ward in an incubator. Although it was nice to see him alive and in an incubator it was still frustrating when there was no power to keep him warm and especially since the incubator is located at the back of the ward in an isolated room. However, we were happy that he survived and every day we had numerous students and teachers visit him. Another reason our week ended off great was we had another student save a life. She brought an 8year boy in from a clinic who had a severe form of malaria. The boy was deteriorating quickly but she was able to give him ventilation through an ambubag and keep alive long enough to reach the hospital and get help. He was in ICU with Sonam for two days until he was stable enough to move to the regular children’s ward. It was great to see him responding to treatment and more alert. There were times during the week that we were super frustrated and kept thinking to ourselves, what are we even doing here? Is what we’re doing even helping? A lot of the frustrations were due to things that were out of our control such as having no water to make formula for the babies. When we did have water there was no power to boil the water to make the formula. We felt like when one issue was resolved another one sprung up on us. Although, at the time of these events we felt frustrated at the end of the week when we reflected we were able to put all these negative experiences aside and focus on the positive.
To top off the end of our week, on Saturday we went on a boat cruise which was a fundraiser organized by Lewanika General Hospital. All the proceeds are going to be put towards supplies for the hospital. The boat cruise which was scheduled to depart at 10am of course left at Zambian time which was noon. The cruise was a good opportunity for the Canadian nursing students to mix and mingle with the hospital staff who were on the cruise as well. On the cruise we had a braii and music playing so we were able to dance. However, we didn’t get the music up and running until we were on our way back. On our boat cruise we went and saw the King’s Palace and were able to take some nice pictures (which we will try posting soon!) When we arrived back at the Harbour it was passed 8pm so it was quite dark out! On our way to catching our taxi we were all mauled by about 40 kids who hugged, kissed, and grabbed the 4 of us. We almost thought we lost Gina when we got into the cab because the kids were all dragging her off away from the taxi. However..thankfully our taxi driver, Jason, was able to help us scare the kids away so we could get Gina back! That night we quickly headed home to eat and change to go celebrate that we saved Gina. We all went out to Oasis (which is a bar/club here) and danced the night away with our Zambian friends from the hospital. Before we knew it…our celebrations lasted until 2am. The night ended off with someone trying to buy some of Sonam’s luxurious hair and another sniffing Kiran’s hair.We rushed home to get some sleep because we had to meet Fay and Jess the next morning for our PAFs (which are our evalations)…thankfully we all passed thus far! After our PAFs we headed to Mutoya Camp where we currently are! We are split into 2’s to either teach 11 students (who are becoming Community Health Workers) and the other 2 are placed into the clinic where they diagnose/prescribe medications for the patients they see. Aside from this, we are also helping with the feeding program, where we have 2 malnourished children who are staying at the Save a Life Center. These children get fed every 3 hours, including midnight, 3am, and 6am. So the four of us are taking turns feeding the children at night…this means that we wake up like zombies, walk through a guarded gate where we are greeted by the watch guards, walk up a steep (and trust me…its STEEP…we’ll post pictures) sand hill, feed the children, and then walk back down to our place where half the time we don’t fall back asleep for the rest of the night. But in the end, it’s all worth it because the kids are SO cute here!
We’re here for another 3 days (at the camp), the next few days should be interesting. We’ll be screening approximately 300 children for any health conditions they may have.
We’re still not home sick yet…but we do miss you guys (some more than others hehe).
Love you, hope you all are safe.
Keep checking back for more blogs and photos. 2 more weeks in Mongu, 8 days in Livingstone, 1 priceless night in London, and then ……………………..HOME! By the way…Kiran wants Heniz Ketchup on everything, Pavan wants White Spot, Sonam wants BPs, and Gina wants some thin cut fries! So whoever is picking us up from the airport…come prepared PLEASE and thank you!!!