Posted on 18 November, 2014

Hey my name is Nicole, I have been nicknamed Casper on this trip. I completed my bachelor of Nursing in 2007 and have always wanted to volunteer overseas and thought I’d never get the chance, up until 3 weeks ago.


A colleague of mine, Dr. Darren Wolfers, asked if I was interested in coming to Rwanda to work in the Intensive Care Unit. I jumped at the chance and thanks to a very understanding boss back home (thanks Kate!) I was able to take leave on such short notice. So I am now fortunate enough to be one of the ICU nurses in Rwanda this year.

Due to the short time frame I had to work with, it was a challenge to get everything sorted. But with the comprehensive lists and information that I got from Open Heart International it made the process much easier.

One of my major concerns was that I didn’t have any paediatric experience and despite everyone telling me ‘You’ll be fine, they’re just tiny people’, it wasn’t until I had survived my first shift that I actually started to believe them.

It’s quite a challenging work environment at times but the team that you work with supports you every step along the way. I’ve only worked two shifts so far but I think I’m already addicted!


The Rwandan people are so grateful and a pleasure to help, it’s a cliché but this trip has made me really appreciate how good we have it back home and not to take things for granted.

The kids are all doing really well, we have already sent about 6 over to the ward, it is surprising how quick they are at recovery.

Tags:  East Africa,