Sunday 14 January 2018

Hello everyone!

Back into normal routine now after Christmas. The cataract surgeries have started again this week. Currently we are doing 15 surgeries each day – we have a new Cameroonian Surgeon with us, Dr Christiane, who is learning the technique, so the number of daily surgeries is lower. Even so, we have been working until 5pm some days, as the speed is much slower. We start each day at 7am. I am still kept busy with the various medical complaints and bizarre self-medication that occurs! I’m glad to report that my Supervisor, Kim, is back from home leave in USA, that helps a great deal too. I am now almost 4 months into my 6 1/2month commitment.

The weekly medical inservice training has also started up again after the Christmas break. This weeks topic was Tumours of the Parotid Gland, and some tips on public speaking. It was given by a UK surgeon – Dr Leo Cheung. He has quite a unique way of delivering a talk!

On Thursdays we have the Community Gathering (basically most of the crew come together for a time of prayer, worship and a spiritual talk), and afterwards ice-cream is served. Each week, a different department takes responsibility for the serving of the ice-cream, and this week the task fell to us (Ophthalmic Team). We all dutifully wore sunglasses to give it a personal/departmental touch and got stuck in serving the ice-cream. I was manning the coffee flavoured ice-cream which was definitely not as popular as the chocolate or vanilla!

Robin, who is our Team Administrator, is on home leave in USA to meet her new grandchild, so all her work and daily tasks have been divided among the rest of us until she returns (hopefully in 2 weeks). I have the responsibility of making sure that all crew members who have signed up for the Celebration of Sight on Fridays join the shuttle bus at the right time, and I also give them a mini talk about what to expect and ensure their safe return to the ship after the event. Bit like a tour guide, really. I was very surprised when one of them complemented me on my speaking ability, and said that I had a good way with words and had I thought about moving into that line of work! The Americans seem to be quite fascinated by a British accent. They were also surprised to see me up dancing at the celebration, and as I explained, just about anything is expected of you as a member of the Ophthalmic Team!!! One of the parts of my job description says ‘Other duties as assigned’. I will be doing the same again this Friday.

On Saturday I went out for a swim at a local hotel with Julia, our Infection Control Nurse. We preferred this pool to the one we tried last week.

Off to Mass this morning, albeit the 10am Douala language. We (Kevin, Tracey and myself), had planned to attend the 8am English Mass as usual, but the shuttle bus driver didn’t turn up, so a crew member drove the shuttle later than expected, and dropped off the several Day Crew also waiting to go home after their night shift.

That’s all this weeks news. Hope everyone is ok.

Take care

Melanie x