i'm going to start this entry by pretending that i haven't been a total loser and not posted for ages. and i'm going to pretend that my last post was incredibly relevant and moving and left a strong emotional impact on everyone who read it. (besides the urge to rush to the bathroom). and i'm going to also pretend i don't find this entry title too cheesy. don't judge till you finish reading :)
july has been bonkers. absolutely bonkers. and one of the reasons has been that almost the entire expat team in the field has turned over all at once. so we welcomed a new doctor, new nurse/midwife, and a new project coordinator. the new doctor - i wasn't sure what to expect. but the dear sweet man arrived and handed me a bag of coffee as a gift and i nearly leapt into his arms. the new midwife/nurse is actually someone i worked with in sudan - and when she was matched to the position i was soooooo excited (i insisted that i get to be the one to call her and tell her!). the third person is a new project coordinator - who i'm quite happy to say is a fellow canuck. and i'm not trying to come across as xenophobic, but having another canadian arrive is just so exciting. there are some jokes that only canadians get.
so lots of handing over going on. usually we desperately try to get people to the field to do a physical handover with the people they replace. but at times, that isn't possible and sometimes it's capital, sometimes amsterdam, and sometimes you just get a really long email.
luckily, we've got 2 field handovers and 1 capital. and i looooooove watching people handover. you have one expat arrive who is totally knackered and on their way home and every essence of their being knows that they are ALMOST DONE! and then you have the new person, who usually has waited at least a few weeks (up to months and months) for a posting, plus time to get their visa, plus home country briefings, amsterdam briefings, ridiculous amounts of time all cramped up in airplanes and now they are almost there and ohmygod they just can't wait!!!
i sat in the living room and listened to the midwives start their handover and it was hilarious! somehow, the energy transfers from one to the other, and the midwife on her way home who has been developing and starting 2 birthing units and had to train all the staff and try to get it sorted is finally able to start using midwife shorthand again... flinging words and acronyms around like..., well, i can't actually remember what she said because none of it made sense to me - but it all made sense to the new midwife. what a look of relief on the outgoing midwife's face!
and the new one - who loves being in the field and figuring out how to deliver the best care in the most trying of circumstances - she gets to talk about the nitty gritty of the work again. the best ways for women to deliver in these situations, the training materials she's brought from home to train the staff (excuse me ma'am, the x-ray shows a pelvis in your suitcase?), ideas about encouraging women to come to the birthing units, and finally the difficulty of checking on labour progression when her shalwar khameez scarf get's stuck under the patient's foot.
and the look of relief on one woman's face as she realises this program, that has been her whole world for months, will be managed by someone who just might be good enough to keep it going... well it can't help but remind me how much people care about the programs they run and the people they serve.