Part Two

I am now in a bed and breakfast called Soccer City on the outskirts of a small rural town called Kisarawe. It is about an hours drive from the Dar international airport. It is lovely to be in the rural area. Rolling hills, traditional houses made of mud and sticks, vegetable gardens, trees. No high rise buildings. It’s good.

I’ve had some dinner: a rather tough but tasty crispy kuku (chicken) with rice, greens and a lovely tomato relish. Satisfied. I’ve had an interesting shower balancing over the toilet and am now snug on my bed under the mozzie net.

I can hear sounds of a motorbike passing, crickets and men talking across at the Kibo Pub. The World Cup soccer is playing in the background too. The whir of my overhead fan is lulling me to sleep.

The second course begins tomorrow. There will be 12 participants from 3 different health facilities: one district hospital and two rural health centres. Apparently there will be 2 traditional birth attendants as well. I’m really excited about this mix of trainees. It will be interesting to compare their knowledge and skills with those of the city nurse-midwives. And it will be great to share the load with our third team member Beth who has joined us from Perth.

Today was a nice quiet day. We were expecting to travel to Kisarawe early this morning, but it is a public holiday and so late yesterday we were advised that our departure time will be 2pm. I was so relieved. After our relaxing time in Zanzibar we still had a lot of repacking and preparation to do before leaving. Knowing that we had the whole morning to pack was music to my ears.

After a leisurely sleep in and breakfast overlooking Oyster Bay we walked down to the Slipway, a shopping and food area catering for expats. We discovered a bakery and bought some rather delicious bread to make lunch with. It was yummy, so fresh and tasty. It was quite hot today and so I was tempted to have a swim in the pool at our apartment. Bliss.

The new GHAWA apartment is absolutely fantastic. It is on the ground floor of a high rise building, right next to the pool and borders the ocean. Our view is uninterrupted of the sea, yachts moored nearby. It is literally stunning. A welcome sight after a busy day at the hospital.

Last evening we met some of our neighbours as they rushed down to see that we were ok. You see, a new alarm system has been installed in the apartment. When we returned from Zanzibar we had to disarm it for the first time and literally within 3 seconds , before I’d finished typing in the code, the alarm was screaming. It shut down quite quickly and so we thought all was ok. Lo and behold, after about 15 minutes we discovered a man with an AK 47 standing at our door. He was from the armed response! We had to prove who we were and why the alarm had gone off.

Later we walked down to the waterfront for a nice meal at the restaurant. On our return we had to disarm the apartment again. The same thing happened. This time we rang the company to tell them it must be a wiring problem because the alarm is going off within 3 sec of opening the door and the guards are telling us it’s the panic button going off. Anyway, this time two armed guards arrived within 5 minutes of the alarm going off and 2 lots of neighbours as well.

So we’ve met the neighbours and they’re all very friendly, most are expats. Needless to say we’re not setting the alarm until it’s been checked by the technician!

It’s been difficult resetting my mind for the upcoming course. I’ve never been away from my children for more than 2 weeks. I knew I’d find this stage difficult and so have given myself permission to cry and feel a little sad before embracing the challenges ahead. I’ve had Skype contact with Richard and he and the boys are having a wonderful time in South Africa with his Dad. It’s comforting to know they are happy and occupied. So much to do over the next 2 weeks. Before I know it I’ll be on the plane back to Perth!

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