Planes, ambulances and zebras


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Africa » Kenya » Nairobi Province » Nairobi
March 12th 2014
Published: March 12th 2014
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I am over half way through my time here with AMREF. It has gone so quickly. Since my last entry I have flown to South Africa, Abu Dhabi, twice to Mogadishu, Tanzania and a number of flights within Kenya.

We took a patient who had been shot in the head from Mogadishu to Abu Dhabi. It was a humanitarian flight funded by Abu Dhabi. In a way it is a shame that they picked this particular patient, as he is not going to do well and is very unlikely to survive even with the best medial care let alone have any rehabilitation potential. In my opinion, maybe they could have chosen a different patient who would have benefited from the mission, and they would have still got the same publicity. Shame. It was so hot in Mogadishu that by the time I had intubated the patient at the back of the ambulance before putting him on the aircraft, the nurse looked as though he had just had a shower and I did not look too glamorous myself! Yet again, we were working in front of a crowd of people, watching our every move and taking photo after photo. When we arrived in Abu Dhabi we were greeted by a group of official looking Arabs all in their traditional outfits. They didn’t acknowledge my existence (being a woman and all) and did not lift a finger to help us take the patient out of the aircraft. I was struck by the wealth of this country, even more so having flown from Africa, but even compared to the UK. You can tell that people there have more money than they know what to do with. I can’t complain about the hotel that we stayed in. Wow. Having been in Ethiopia and now here, I have missed the odd splurge of luxury. This made up for it! It was the first time I had a bath in nearly 6 months (no witty remarks please 😉 )

I had a very sad case on Sunday. I can’t really go into details but essentially I flew to Eldoret to pick up a child who was very unwell on an intensive care unit there. We all knew that she was very high risk but transferring her to Nairobi for specialised surgery to her windpipe (see how I am toning down my medical phrases as requested!) was the only chance that she had of surviving. Unfortunately she died in the ambulance on the airstrip in Eldoret so she didn’t even make it onto the plane. We did everything we could but we lost her. I know that it was good that we tried because it was her only hope but it was still devastating. It was a sleepless night for all that night.

Enough about work. I took a day off on Saturday (shocking)! A friend and I went to Hell’s Gate national park. There aren’t any cats or elephants in the park so it is safe to walk or cycle in it. We hired bikes and cycled through the park to the gorge. The gorge is the “entrance to hell” hence the name Hell’s Gate. The bikes were in a sorry state so it was really hard work. Good fun though. Always nice to cycle along past zebras and warthogs humming tunes from the lion king….

I am taking some time off next week to go to the Masai Mara and then to the beach. Can’t wait! I am counting down the days!


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Mosque in Abu Dhabi right by runwayMosque in Abu Dhabi right by runway
Mosque in Abu Dhabi right by runway

Spot the helicopter. I noticed lots of houses with private helipads!
Abu DhabiAbu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi

Our hotel was in the high slanting building. Pretty spectacular.
Abu Dhabi airportAbu Dhabi airport
Abu Dhabi airport

Executive lounge. Rather ornate.
mount longonotmount longonot
mount longonot

View from land this time
Hell's gate national parkHell's gate national park
Hell's gate national park

The water falls are known as the "devils shower." It is a thermal spring so is naturally heated.
Hell's gate national parkHell's gate national park
Hell's gate national park

Which one's Pumba?


13th March 2014

As always I enjoyed reading your blog. I is good to hear about your experiences, your thoughts, what you achieved and what you did not. I was really sad to read about the little girl who did not even make it to the plane in spite your best efforts. Important is that you tried. I laughed as well as got angry about the Arab officials in AbuDhabi who did not even acknowledge you. It is their loss. They did not get to meet a very nice human being.
1st April 2014

xxx

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