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Published: January 31st 2009
This month has been very SLOW. I guess looking at the pictures it appears that I have done a lot, but I feel like I have not. The students were supposed to arrive back to school January 5th. Unfortunately they have not yet returned. I do not want to get into too much detail right now because I think that things have become political with the elections coming up in a few months…but it all has to do with the student’s school fees.
Anyway, the school year ends before the first week in April in all of the Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) nursing schools. The first year students were my priority because they were scheduled to have 6 weeks of theory lectures, and a week to study before taking their end of year exams the week of 23rd of February. Next week will be week 5 of their theory block that they are missing. Because the school is year around with few holidays I am not sure how we are going to make up for the lost time without having to have night or weekend classes. The other problem is that because our hospital is so small we are
...it shouldn't look this fun. It was gross.
always sending students to Blantyre and Zomba for their clinical work. The houses have already been rented out for the students, so the fact that we are not going to use them is going to cost money. I am also not sure if we will be able to make up this lost classroom time because of our tight schedule in the wards.
Well, I think I can speak on behalf of all my colleagues by saying that we are not happy. We are bored. The first few weeks I was back at site I spent my time in the office writing my lecture notes. I decided to take GI disorders for Medical Surgical Nursing, and I was finished before I went to Lilongwe on the 15th of January. I had a long weekend in Lilongwe because a friend of mine was going back to the States and Kelly, Cathy and I went up to see her off. I then returned and decided to take Fundamentals of Nursing to teach the new first years that would be arriving in April. I was going to work 5 days a week and sitting in front of a computer and textbook writing notes from
730am-5pm… I am very nearly done with all my lesson plans for the next YEAR! Haha.
The last week and a half I put down the textbooks, to prevent the impending insanity, and did other odd things around the hospital. Elly and I cleaned out the common room. Hiram and Elly decided they would start doing in-service trainings with the nursing staff at the hospital once or twice a month and I agreed to help. We even had a few meeting on things such as transport issues and the budget (Also not that interesting so I will not elaborate).
Even so, I still managed to read the Twilight saga twice, learn how to kill a chicken and then cook it, figure out how to knit, try to eat guinea fowl and I even redecorated my house with pictures that people sent me for Christmas. I was doing okay until last Monday.
Last weekend I asked Elly if she would start back up with the “walking” (I call it hiking because it is like an hour and a half hike through the mountains…but she’s from Holland and their definition of a walk is slightly different from my Americanized designation) on
Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. She agreed. We had done very little physical activity sitting in the offices all day so I think she welcomed it. Well, I got up at 510am and met her at her house at 515. I let my cat out like a have been doing lately and he followed me over to Ellys house. We started walking and we noticed that he was sort of following us on our hike. We ignored him a little bit because he was content to run ahead of us or play with something behind us and not really walk beside us. He stopped following us about 5 or 10 minutes down the road, not too far from the house. I am sad because he still hasn’t returned home yet. I of course went looking for him Monday evening when he still hadn’t returned. Hiram and I even went around Tuesday asking the villagers where my cat was (I am sure they thought I was insane). I hope he comes home…
Since then I have been moping a little. Elly went on holiday last Wednesday because I think the time sitting around the office being nonproductive was starting to get
to her. My APCD (boss) visited me Thursday, 29th of January to discuss how site was going. She tried to help keep me busy by asking me to write a letter to the new health volunteers coming in May/June. Becky came with her and asked me to design a t-shirt to sell for the Gender and Development (GAD) group she is in. This reminded me that I had another obligation to design a t-shirt for our camp that the health group is hosting this summer called Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World). At IST I told the people in charge of the camp that I would sort through admissions, design a t-shirt and teach a tkd class or something during camp but that my obligations were to my nursing school. It is our big project as a health group. It is a camp for teenage girls (actually secondary school girls that have descent English. I volunteered myself to go through all the applications since I have some idea at the level that college-level students should be writing. I am sure THAT will also make me crazy) and it is all about empowering women and stuff (I know. I know. Lame
Eating the Chicken
Hiram, Elly and I ate at Elly's house after.
description, but when I found out how time-consuming being on the committee to arrange it would be I kinda backed out and zoned out during discussions).
I am in Blantyre today on a staff trip. I needed to restock on essentials like TP, laundry soap and cheese. I am keeping my fingers crossed that at some point soon the students will return to class so that I can drag them kicking and screaming at warp speed through all the material they need to cover. I am sure THAT will go over well. If they don’t return I plan on leaving site soon as well, before the heat and boredom overpower me, possibly to do some site visits at other volunteers houses… We’ll see.
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I am soooo sorry to hear about Zuze. What a precious little friend you have had. I hope Zuze gets tired of his adventures. Probably lookin' for a girlfriend. You know how those young guys are! I think you need to start working on a children's book about Zuze...and the bugs....and the chickens, etc. Need some good (no, great) illustrations in the colors and sights of Malawi. By the way, I couldn't see any knitting needles. I just saw one, which sounds like crochet. You need to let me know! I crocheted a beautiful alpaca scarf (think sooooft), which Patrick took back with him to college. But, he thinks it's too long. So, I'm off to crochet another one. By then, it will be spring. Translated: neither of us got to wear the scarf during the cold season. I got skype fixed up. I haven't used it. Your dad sent me the numbers to call you. Let me know the BEST TIME TO CALL. Please tell me in U.S. times! TALK TO YOU SOON! L- ML
sry, i just finally remembered my password to my e-mail so, i've spent forever looking at all of your entries! seems fun!