Thursday, October 27, 2011

Goodbye Sweet Salone

Yes, again it has been awhile since I last updated on here. Sorry-o. I am now home in the USA. I will say it is nice to be home but in all honesty, it was very hard to leave. Many tears were shed and my heart hurt as I got in the water taxi to go to the airport Wednesday night. I'm still not fully home. One more flight to take me to Spokane and to bed.

One of the reasons I haven’t written on here in so long is honestly because I didn’t have time. The last month in Sierra Leone was c-r-a-z-y! You could say it did not end how I had hoped it would or in the way I had imagined. When the thought came up of me coming home early, I should have come home in January, I knew it was right. I had trained up a national nurse to be the ward supervisor and I had full confidence she would do a great job. I knew I could leave knowing she would be fine and the other nurses looked up to her and respected her. I felt like I had accomplished what I went there to do.

About two weeks ago this all changed very quickly when it was found out that many drugs were missing from the pharmacy and she was the reason. To say I was devastated would be an understatement. After learning this, more lies just as horrible were brought to light as well. I felt like the last six months I had spent training her were all of a sudden a lie. Like the work I had been doing was a waste of time. I don’t believe that now but it was a huge struggle for me for a time. After this all came out I laid in bed and went through every conversation we had and wondered if all we talked about and all she shared with me was a lie as well. When we realized medications were missing I told people it wasn’t her. I couldn’t believe it could be. I felt completely let down but I know my nurses did as well. They all trusted her as much as I did and I know this all came as a shock to everyone who worked at the centre.

God really is so good though. As I was training this nurse, I was training up another nurse along side her as well. She did not have as much training with me as this first nurse but I really do believe that she will do a fabulous job. The areas she struggles in are areas where she will have much support from others at the centre. Computers, paperwork, those lovely things.

Many people have asked me in the last week what I will miss about Sierra Leone: the patients, the nurses, my friends, beautiful Sierra Leone beaches, Thursday and Friday lunches (groundnut and rice and beans and rice), the sense of community in the ward where the women take care of each other, VVF women who come back to have their babies at the centre-- just to name a few. I do find comfort in knowing that come January I will be headed back to Africa, Niger this time, to open the fistula centre at Danja. I am so thankful that my time working with VVF women has not come to an end although my time in Sierra Leone is done. I have learned so so so so much this year and I know I can take most of that with me next year.

My current plan is that I will be in the states now until mid January before I leave for Niger. I will write a post soon about what that is all about. I will be home visiting family and friends and doing fundraising. Back at it! Thank you all for your prayers and support during my time in Sierra Leone. In all honesty, I don’t know if I would have survived without all your prayers and support during the past ten months.

Oh, and my bruise is much better. It’s still there but now it just looks like a large birthmark on my back. Still tender to touch it but I know that will get better with time.