Friday, 26 February 2010

February in Kamakwie Wesleyan Hospital and the Makeni Midiwifery School

There hasn't been any updates on here for a while. I had very little internet access in Kamakwie. I have have done a guest blog which I will be doing regularly for the RCM website which is here and has more information on my work at the midwifery school at the begninning of the month.

I enjoyed my first week in Kamakwie after getting over the first night which was a bit of a challenge. We arrived just before dark from Makeni, there is no electricity and I had forgotten to buy matches or candles. I had a battery powered lamp which kept switching itself off so I ended up in bed by 8.30, with my mosquito net very tightly tucked in as when I stayed here in january I woke up in the night to the sound of tiny (mouselike) feet beside my bed!

Kamakwie is a quiet and beautiful place. Only a very small number of people have generators for electricity which means that the stars at night are incredible. there are so many, they are so bright, it feels like you could reach out and touch them. I fall asleep to the chorus of the frogs in the rice swamp next to my house.

I was worried about staying in the house alone but I needn't have been. I was almost never alone. It is too hot to sit inside so I sit on the verandah outside the house. My house is on the roadside so most people walking past stop to say 'Uwaley' - hello, 'Namacotoko?' - how are you? the language spoken here is Limba, I have learnt a few words over the week. People laugh as I write them down in my notebook but otherwise I forget them instantly. The children go to fetch water from the well near my house and come and sit on the wall to watch me read or cook. My neighbours are really friendly and Salimatou across the road comes to say hi. The children below are the audience I had whilst I cooked my first meal in Kamakwie, so meal times are fun!




The hospital is a mission hospital of the Wesleyan Church, every morning the early shift begins with a short service in the chapel. This is normally Pastor Jane giving a sermon followed by prayers. On thursday I arrived and was given a hymn book, every thursday the day starts with 'Singspiration' a service of hymns.

People who have had the misfortune to do Karaoke with me know that I don't have the most tuneful voice. Whilst chatting to the Pastor before the service started I mentioned singing is not my strong point, she assured me that only some people are blessd with a good singing voice, others have the voice of a cockroach but should still sing! there are no instruments, someone hums the tune aloud and then everyone sings. It was an uplifting start to a busy and challenging day. I have just updated the Vodafone world of difference blog page which has more information about my work in the hospital and you can read it here.


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