Thursday, July 5, 2012

Good things are happening!

Hello again!

So here’s a quick update about the goings-on in Gobas: the IDCC opening was a great success.  Yesterday I spent the day in my neighboring village of Semolale with the doctor, Doctor Mashini, learning the process of how an official ARV day  is supposed to run.  He taught me the ins and outs of the system and recommended I teach everyone in Gobojango.  After transferring some patients from Semolale to Gobojango, learning to schedule appointments, and to take vital signs, the doctor then invited me to his house for a late lunch.  There, I met the doctor’s lovely wife and ate probably one of the most delicious meals I’ve had since I’ve arrived in Botswana.  Since Mr. and Mrs. Mashini are from DRC, they grow plants from their home country and cook with them.  I helped myself to seconds and even tried spring bock meat (which wasn’t necessarily my favorite). 

Once I returned to the Gobas Health Post, I proceeded to find a corner stuffed with posters that everyone had forgotten where they were.  So I spent the rest of my day hanging colorful, decorative, and informative posters around the new building. 

So this morning arrived.  BIG day; our first registration of the transfer patients and what happens?  Both the Semolale and Gobojango ambulances are nowhere near the village to transport the doctor to Gobojango.  Patients kept filtering in, and even began waiting outside while the one nurse who was on duty, Topo (my counterpart), attempted to start seeing general health patients while arranging transport for the doctor. 

It was half past 10 when the doctor and head nurse from Semolale finally arrived.  They helped us through the process of registering patients into the computer system and the next thing I know, it’s already 3:30pm and we were so busy that we hadn’t taken any breaks.  Dr. Mashini and Topo were talking about how they could make ARV day more organized when I mentioned scheduling timed appointments.

With their reaction, you would have thought I had discovered gravity.  We sat for another hour while I explained time blocks and fifteen minute appointment times to them and they suggested I draft a framework to help them bring it about.  They also mentioned that if this process works, we will transfer it to our general health patients, then they will have me perfect the system and teach it to other clinics in the Bobirwa subdistrict.

It was an extremely successful day.  In fact, I just finished putting together the appointment folder and feel quite proud of myself.

Many of the volunteers who advised us during training said that the first few months at site are slow-going and uneventful.  I feel so fortunate to have been placed here.  I’m at the beginning stages of such great things to come in the future. 

I spend my afternoons with my neighbor and friend Lorato.  She is baking traditional bread every day for the entire month of July for the drought relief workers that are working in Gobojango.  I sit with her and Caesar, enjoying the company and often looking up at the stars. 

Yesterday her cousin was visiting from South Africa.  He told me that he would like to start an adult education program that reached out to the illiterate population in nearby cattle posts.  He asked for me to assist him and direct his funding in a certain way. I'd love to get involved, so i told him to draft a proposal and then we'd go from there. I don't want to spread myself too thin, after all.

In terms of other news, I will be travelling this weekend to a village called Palapye for our regional volunteer meeting.  This is an informal opportunity for volunteers within the Central District to get to know one another and ask questions and network.  I was given Friday off from work, so I will spend the morning washing my clothes and head to Bobonong in the afternoon.  There, I will meet Jessica, Hollis, and Leia and spend the night at Leia’s house. Early Saturday morning we will head to Palapye and meet up with other volunteers. I will spend that night at Mignon’s house and then head back to Gobas on Sunday. 

The following weekend I will be hosting three other volunteers here in Gobojango for a wedding! 

Such great things to look forward to =)

It’s pretty late now, but I’ll update more soon!

Be kind to one another =D

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