I thought I would take a little break from talking about the patients in the hospital and instead give you a little insight to life in Aweil Town.
I will start with a basic day, which begins at 6:30 am with a face time audio call to home. I have to walk to our office area to talk as that is the only place Wi-Fi works. After that it is time to start the day. On Wednesday and Saturday, a group of us will go for a run at 7 am for about 30 minutes, some weeks we try to sneak in an extra day! Then it is breakfast around 7:30. Breakfast is always the same, eggs and bread, though on Sunday we are treated to pancakes. Twice a week we have a team meeting in the morning and then by 8:30 it is off to the hospital. It is a five minute drive or walk.
I start my day by checking in with the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to see what came in overnight and if they need any help, then I head to my preterm and tetanus ward to round on the patients. Once done there, it is back to the ICU to finish rounds.
My rounding is often interrupted by patient emergencies so it takes usually 2.5 hours before I finish and it is back to base for a lunch break. By 4pm, I am back in the hospital.
First stop is the ICU, to see any new admissions and check in on the patients and then I head back to neonate ward to round on the newborn babies. Once I finish rounding, I check in on all wards to follow up on my "to do list" for the day and then it is usually 7:30pm and time to check out to the night time staff and head back to base for dinner.
In the evenings, most people check the internet and we sit around and talk over a beer or box wine until bedtime and then it starts over again.
I do get one day off per week. I spend a lot of that day sleeping!
We also take walks into the market to get juice, snacks or just to get off the compound for a bit. The walks are entertaining, all the children run out and point at us saying "kawaja, kawaja." which basically means white person, and then they shake all our hands. I try to always keep stickers on me to hand out! We also have the bat tree which we usually show off to new staff, hundreds of bats all sleeping in one tree. Some weekends we have lunch in some of the restaurants in town, you can get a pretty good BBQ chicken!
Friday nights for us is "pizza and a movie." The pizza is simple: dough, sauce and veggies, no cheese. And the movies are always silly comedies on the projector. It is a good break after a long week!
Sunday night is usually our best dinner; a couple of the expats cook for everyone and we all eat together! It is pretty amazing the food the expats are able to put together here!
Once in awhile, we get a real treat and we go to the "Swiss House," a Swiss NGO of engineers here to help. They have an amazing compound with air conditioning, flushing toilets and TV! We usually cook dinner over there once a month, and it is a nice little break!
Overall, life here is pretty simple! We look for joys in small things, like sunsets, full moons, flushing toilets, or gifts and messages from home!