Posted on 23 November, 2013

The first two days in Kigali flew by in a frantic whirl of screening, unpacking, organisation of equipment and collection of more team members from the airport. It’s amazing how quickly you shift from “I have no idea what I am doing” to “I can handle this.” (But maybe this is just me.)

Jen & Lisa with Toys

Veteran Team members, dare I say stalwarts, senior anaesthetic nurse Lisa Perrett and senior theatre nurse Jen Evans generously allowed me to come into theatre while they were unpacking and spend a couple of hours trying to not get in their way. In many ways setting up for surgery was like moving house, tonnes of equipment is unpacked, sorted and shelved to get ready for the operations to come. In addition we sorted five or six boxes of toys that we have to share with the patients and their families. I think we have a soccer ball for every kid in Kigali.

Friday night we had the first large team meeting led by Project Coordinator Russell. It was here that everyone got to share their details, gain an understanding of how everything should work over the next week and meet with their respective team leaders. Rosters have been done, phones given out and by Saturday morning the operations were to start.

There are a number of patients who have already begun to win us over, though of course there are no favourites. Day one was all about Francisco (bottom left photo), a tiny orphan who alternatively smiled and looked horrified when he saw his own photo. Yesterday we saw twins (bottom right photo), one significantly larger than the other, who were less enamoured with having their photos taken. Over the next few days we’ll start to see patients coming into ICU and the wards.

fransico twins

Tags:  East Africa,