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  • I'm so bored.

    We get daily updates about the situation and the security. We are allowed to walk between the two house with a guard, it's only 50m maybe. The community were furious, thinking we practice witchcraft or voodoo. The negative attitudes have also been felt with other NGO's and they have also reduced their curfew.

    It's weird for me as I have not seen much at all. I just get updates of what is going on, but am left in this little bubble of maison B, so its pretty surreal. While walking to the other house one day I heard a passer by say ' je deteste les gens des emergency' which means I hate the people of emergency.

    We have stopped all operations for 1 week now. After about 2 days all the drugs and medical supplies were gone, which means the mums need to go to an external pharmacy to buy everything, and it's not cheap. Imagine if your kid was on amoxicilline IV 4 times a day. You need 4 vials, 4 syringes, 4 diluents, 4 needles. That's just one drug for one day, and assuming the kid already has a cannula. It's challenging for me as more kids might unnecessarily die due to our absence and lack of free supplies. But we can't give them our keys to the cupboard where a few more supplies are because we don't just give out drugs we educate and empower local staff. It's also a method to get the government to appreciate our presence more. - it is also unsafe.

    We had almost all the national staff visit us which was lovely but tiring. They miss us and it was a great show of solidarity. They did almost drink all our beer though :)

    Apparently on Monday the community are having a protest against the U.N. blue helmets. So we are hoping to recommence activities on Wednesday if it calms down back to the general level of dislike.

    At home I have drawn, played guitar, watched movies, hung out with my team, we did a mini salsa night which was fun. Made cakes. But it's also really hard. I feel trapped. The Italians are lovely but rarely switch to English or French when I'm there, so I don't understand anything most of the time. I feel bad asking them to switch, they seem like they are having a great time and I don't like forcing people to speak English when I'm there. Although I need to.

    Also everyone here smokes, I did not expect that at all. So after three weeks now my throat kills this morning. I'm pretty sensitive to it so can't hang out too long. And there are also a few people that smoke weed. I used to be fine being around people smoking weed but now I can't stand it and go to room straight away. I think i partially blame it for turning my lovely caring boyfriend into a selfish arrogant one that came home at 4am every night. Too many bad memories with it. And actually, I've never had a good experience with it.

    Now I have so much time I'm also starting to get a bit stressed again about finding a job after this.

    To top it of the internet is even worse with everyone using it and this morning we don't have any water.

    Please tell me about your lives and the outside world! And if you write a comment, don't forget your name :)
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  • Today was a reminder of where I am. It started as every other day = wake up at 6am, start at 7:40. Give medication and supplies to nursing staff, follow ward round, understand nothing of what is happening, panic that the job is too hard with the language difficulty, lunch. Teach the nurses to give parcetamol when the child has a fever, give nurses coartem for malaria, then the international pharmacist arrived.

    He waved and said we have to leave, so I went to the staff room to get my bag then all the international staff and a Muslim patient were transported to the clinic (I work at the paediactric complex, the clinic is a 2 min walk from the house). Apparently someone shot a national guard, then, I think, 2 Muslim were shot. I quick backstory: the fighting was between the Seleka – Muslims and the Anti-Balaka the Christian group, it stopped 1 year ago. The body of one of the people who was shot arrived at the hospital (paediatric complex). Apparently the security situation can change quickly here, so we were taken home just in case the fighting came to the hospital.

    Now we are all just chilling at home, drinking beer and trying to connect to the rubbish internet. Tomorrow they will tell us if we can return to work.
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  • There is always something happening here. First a possible safety issue and we were evacuated. Then I got sick and fainted, along with 8 other international staff. The other day I was going to brush my teeth and smelt something funny, I saw smoke coming our of someone's room so had a look to find an electrical fire. I ran inside to tell everyone FIRE! Lucky we had an extinguisher, but the poor guy has all his stuff covered in the extinguisher dust. And just now ( Sunday night) the project manager and surgeon have been 'arrested' by the police! A child died today soon after surgery, so the parents called the police. The parents believe we took out the child's heart during surgery! Crazy crazy!

    Apart from the drama it's been a good long week. 7 days. This week my goals were to educate the nurses on how to do a urinalysis , how to give metronidazole properly (i caught one nurse guessing the dose! - but after i trainer her it was all done correctly!) And change the doctors round, and give night shift more tasks such as restocking and cleaning to make the days easier. I would say I got about 50% done so will continue for the next week.

    A cleaner asked me if I could adopt her daughter this week. She was dead serious, it was really sad, I said no I can't but kids really need their parents and love which she obviously has if she is willing to give up her daughter to a stranger at the hope of a better life.

    This week I also had two infants with respiratory distress, which I transferred to ICU (they are fine, but we don't give oxygen on my ward) and one poor 4 year old boy who has steven Johnson's syndrome or lyons syndrome, I can't remember which one. But the result is his lips are a wound, we are unable to clean them because he is in so much pain and suffering. They have been stuck together for two days. Another nurse gave oil to put on them and they have begun to open. He may need surgery this week to open them fully, and clean his mouth properly. The poor mum is really upset but grateful we are trying to help.

    Last thing. 2 nurses are leaving soon so
    we threw a party for all national and international staff at a local club. It was awesome and just what I needed after a long week. Almost all the men at work told me they were going to dance with me. Africans are great dancers! Two of my favourite nurses were there, we danced together. It was really nice to see them out side of work. Everyone danced a lot! One guy who also proposed and said he was willing to move to Australia with me danced with me a lot, I tried to get away without being rude! They dance really really close! !! Or just grab your wrists and start dancing. Either way it was still awesome finally seeing a slice of the real bangui, rather than just the xpat one.

    UPDATE: we had a meeting about today's events. There was a lot of yelling, anger and some violence at the hospital by the relatives of the dead child and the police who took the surgeon to a room to interrogate him. It was really unsafe and luckily the national staff and guard came to help the project manager. Both are home now but all emergency activities are suspended until the government offer an apology and publicly acknowledge that we had no part in the child's death. The national staff are supportive but the local population can be very against white people. So everyone has to stay home until further notice.
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  • I'm finally getting the hang of it. But it's still challenging. We had a meeting today to reorganize the wards, and I need to change the way we give coartem (malaria med) and reorganize the doctors round, make sure the ward is clean. But I'm not supposed to do anything but tell the nurses what to do, which is hard when I see them already super busy.

    Today was exceptionally busy because the doctors round takes forever but I need 5 free beds. And one patient was imposible to canulate, so I had to ask everyone to try and in the end the orthopaedic surgeon put one in the bone. The kid really needed a blood transfusion. After my meeting I returned to a messy ward . Meds all over the table, beds not clean. And busy nurses. I also need to teach them when I have time. This morning I was able to show someone how to do a v loos pressure so that was good. And other I explained why we threw away the blood that had been out for hours and opened to infection. So small steps.

    I left a list of things to do to the night a
    Shift, it is a nice team on so I have hope that tomorrow i will arrive to a clean ward with clean patients.
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  • Yesterday I woke up and ran to the toilet, diarrhoea had arrived. It was inevitable, but earlier than I anticipated. At breakfast I was feeling really nauseous so decided to spent the morning at home. By lunch time I had a fever, headache, fatigue. So I went to the Emergency clinic with the international nurse Stephan. I have a urine sample and the guy who took my blood sample tied the glove so tight on my arm that I could not feel my arm anymore, I started to cry as it was so painful, especially with my headache and general shittyness. Then Stephan came to take me to the consultant room , and saw I was crying. 27 year old nurse crying over a simple needle, good one.

    Urine and blood tests were negative, I still needed to give a stool sample. They started me on an antibiotic and paracetamol. I slept most of the afternoon, and woke up around 6:30 when i decided to have some dinner. I quickly went to the toilet again, managed to perfectly capture my stool sample. Then another wave of nausea hit, this time it felt like it was actually going to turn into vomit. I grabbed the bin, but then I realised I'm not going to vomit, I'm going to faint. I was not going to pass out in a locked bathroom, so I semi-conciously got of the toilet and tried to go outside to get some help. I stacked it on the stairs, apparently i managed to let out a 'help me'. The logistician saw me and asked if I wanted help, I said yes and then fainted.

    I woke up in my bed, with my room full of people. It's a good thing living with doctors, nurses and anaesthetists! They put in a cannula, damn they hurt! It's still in and still hurts! I received 500ml of Hartmanns, for dehydration. They were all really lovely. I told them I managed to get a stool sample, that it was in the bathroom, but apparently it ended up in the garden. A quick test later and I have no parasites, but heaps of bacteria.

    I also stacked it pretty bad so my knee really hurts :( I'm having another day of today. Generally feel better, still have diarrhoea and nausea so I'm trying to eat and drink more.
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