Finally back to blogging after some internet trouble in our cabin which we finally managed to sort out - just about anyway :-)
So what have the last couple of weeks held?? Constant rain, the start of school, new families arriving, a very exciting parcel (thanks Jen and Michael), constant talk about football as the boys prepared their teams for the fantasy football league prior to the season starting, Sarahs Mum and sister booking flights to visit next month, us booking our flights to return to the UK in December...
School started again last week and so far seems to be going well. Tom is now in Grade 2, his new teacher is (another) Miss Amy who we love already and is going to be a lot of fun. He has been so positive about school, he is just a little sad that there are no other boys in the class now that he can talk Star Wars with! Maybe it will help him be a little more focussed though.
Josh is still in pre-school, it is beginning to feel like he's been there forever now, as he was in the same room with the same teacher, Miss Elizabeth last year, and in the same room for some of nursery before that too. He is in a class of 7 children and the older 6 have an extra hour now each day where they start to learn a little and do some group activities.
We have quite a few new teachers who are settling in. Tommy is mentor teacher for the Grade 11 girls and is still teaching Maths and Computers.
I am still working at the birthing centre. Just when I feel like I have got the hang of things I have something that I don't know much about and have something new to read about on my days on the Ship. Yesterday I had my first lady with typhoid so that will be the theme for this week! We also had an HIV positive lady give birth so I got to learn a little about their infection control practices for that. And just when I feel like I have seen it all and significantly less things shock me than might have done a few months ago, a lady showed me her mouldy toes at clinic and said she lives in a swamp. Yep, that might not be the best place to be living in rainy season, but I'm guessing moving might not be an option. I can't stop thinking about it though - I really never thought I would hear the words 'I live in a swamp' outside of the movie Shrek and it all just seems so wrong.
During a quiet part of the day I got to visit and tour Lumley Hospital, a nearby Government Hospital. It was quite small, but the lady giving us the tour made sure that we saw every cupboard, office and room possible! We got to see the wards, delivery rooms, theatre, recovery and sterilising room and pharmacy, along with the sluice and goodness knows what else! We're not sure if the power was off as everywhere was dark, the corridors so dark it was a challenge to walk down them without walking into a bench or something! While it wasn't as nice as the Women's centre where I am based it was better than I was expecting to be honest. All the beds had sheets and the mattresses on empty beds looked clean, they all had mosquito nets and rooms had curtains on the windows. It did need a bit of a paint job and someone to find a store room to put all the random bits of equipment and bits of beds that seemed to be abandoned in various places. The community health officer showed us their immunisation schedules - now that healthcare is free to under 5's the uptake is pretty good. The hospital send people out into the community to offer immunisations as part of their outreach work too. We looked at their birth register - it's funny how these things are very similar between different units and different countries. They have had 25 births this month so far, 3 of which were caesarean sections. The birthing room had recently been done up with the help of some external funding, it was just a little sad that there was nothing besides two brand new narrow delivery beds (complete with stirrups) for helping women labouring and birthing there. I'll take one guess about what position their women give birth in - and I'm guessing it might not be the best one for the women!