So another week and so much has happened. The work started at Chainama Hospital in the big OT room and despite the usual nailbiting wait to see if anyone would show a very good selection of about 20 staff turned up. A really good mix of professions and experience, We had arrived far too early as Mr Manda who has been driving us wasn't sure of the traffic which can be horrendous. The drive passes through Ntendere which is crowded settlement area and at that time in the morning it is packed with children going to school, stalls opening, delivery trucks, mini buses and everything under the sun all crowding on to the bumpy dusty road. Some very impressive smart lady police trying to keep things moving, Zambian drivers in town seem mostly very accommodating and responsive allowing the traffic to move as best it can and negotiating roundabouts and junctions. Hooting is only used as a thank you, a gentle warning or a "Do you want a mini bus?"
Anyway back to Chainama - there was a long delay before the promised projector and screen arrived - thanks to the Physio department and we got it fixed up. We had to do some rapid adjustment to our running order but the general tolerance and the interest got us through. The practical exercise as always really grabs people. We hopefully ended the morning with some arrangements for the practical work and some enthusiasm to get going. We were very hot and I think the waiting and the uncertainty had taken its toll - we were exhausted and by the time we had had some printing of handouts done - everything take so long as there is often limited paper and ink and by the time we had fetched ours we were drooping badly! We did summon the energy to get Mr Manda to stop at Pick and Pay for some much needed beer!
The next day was to be a full day with the first practical group in the morning and the first of 3 sessions for trainee clinical officers in the afternoon. The practical session was as usual busy and fascinating - 2 new trainees turned up so that was a bit of a distraction but good stuff and patients clearly getting a lot out of the experience. The midday heat walking across the dusty short cut to the college was quite a trial but taken slowly we arrived and found a lively chatty student group, very responsive and engaged. Wednesday is the full day at UTH with case feedback and art work and some theory which will be the pattern for the next 2 weeks. Interesting and thought provoking,
We have signed up to do a very brief introduction to the 1st year Neuropsychology intake on Thursday and Friday morning next week. The rest of the week was spent going through the work - refining material and starting to kook at grant applications for the next stage!
The nearest shopping centre is a 40 min walk and if you leave early enough it is manageable but a pick up to get home is essential - just too hot. Gossner where we are has successfully installed solar power so we are now not so off on and can keep the beer cool! We took an evening stroll round the vast and fortress like edifice which is the US Embassy just up the road and were horrified to see the fumes coming out from their vast diesel powered generators. Why don't they have a solar powered system? I am contemplating writing to Al Gore! Out for supper last night with some of amazing msumbos (Europeans) who have made their lives and work here - oh and on Friday we went to a fantastic food festival - delicious! So it is not all hard work and there continue to be wonderful birds in the garden.