Posted on 15 May, 2013

This post is by Nadia Reid, Physiotherapist, Rwanda

Just like Shirley I am also a Newbie. After hearing all my Physio colleagues sharing their amazing OHI stories it is so exciting to be part of my first OHI team!

So here’s a snapshot (literally!) of my first couple of days as an OHI volunteer!

First stop Dubai with the boys babysitting the heart valves and enjoying the delicacies that the International Airport has to offer.

Dubai on route to Rwanda Waiting at the airport with heart valves Rwanda

Next stop Kigali, and on to the Top Tower Hotel, our home for the next 10 days

Rwanda air plane from Dubai Top Tower Hotel Kigali Rwanda

1st day at King Faisal Hospital, and a meet and greet with the local medical staff

King Faisal Hospital Rwanda meeting local medical staff in rwanda

Time to set up the Intensive Care Unit and get to know fellow team members!

Setting up the ICU Rwanda Rwanda team members

And then the reason we are all here! The first surgery completed and doing well!!!

Details of the first patient in rwanda First Patient in Rwanda 2012

It is hard to describe the joy and excitement of seeing the first child out of surgery and starting her road to recovery. The weeks (or months for some!) of planning and packing that the OHI team put in all makes sense once you see things in action.

Today I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to go to the Genocide Memorial.

This was a very moving experience. Considering we are going to be working side by side with colleagues who may have either experienced extreme trauma or lost their family members it is really important to understand their history. It also helps to put things in perspective as to what are some of the contributing factors to why there is a significant shortage of skill base in this country.

When you lose more than 1 million of your population (of which a lot were the skilled members of their community) in approximately 3 months and are then left with a population of traumatised children and widows and displaced people it is a long road back.

This small, land locked, African country with it’s troubled past is full of beauty and hope for a bright future. It is such an honour to be here and be a tiny part of it!

Kigali Memorial Centre Rwanda

Kigali Memorial Centre Rwanda Kigali Memorial Centre view Rwanda

Kigali Memorial Centre Rwanda

Tags:  East Africa,