Posted on 15 May, 2013

This post is by Suzanne Momber, Registered Nurse, Rwanda.

Nursing is a privileged position. Patients and their families let us into their lives for a short time and we know so much more about them than they know about us.

To be welcomed into Rwanda and into King Faisal Hospital is indeed a privilege for us all. One which we do not take lightly. The trust within the team for each other, the trust the Rwandan nurses have in us, and the trust that the patient’s families have that we will care for their precious children to our best ability is very humbling.

Suzanne in RwandaThis is my second trip to Rwanda and without a doubt I take away more from these trips than I can possibly give. The lovely interactions we have with the taxi drivers, the cheeky one-armed boy (a congenital defect) accosts us daily and with whom we chat, the nurses we work with – Mediatrice, Danny, Enock, Claire, Jackie and Odette all tell us stories about themselves and we to them.

Next year I am 50 and Claire and Odette tells me in Rwanda at 50 women are old and fat so what do I eat and I must be exercising! Great confidence boost to the ego. They all look young and have beautiful skin but think we do too. Danny, one of the nurses, is from the Philippines. He is practising his english accent, as to pass some exam to work in Australia he needs to speak with an Australian or English accent. I have no idea what he is referring to as he is easily understood, but if he listens to Lisa (who is from the east end of London) he won’t get far as even sometimes we have to tell her to slow down and ask her to repeat what she has said.

The gorgeous lady in the markets couldn’t understand Lisa and asked her where she was from and she said England, and she asked what language she was speaking to which she responded “The Queen’s English”. The market lady and we Australians all burst out laughing. God help us in Botswana and Victoria Falls where Lisa, Cisco, Ele and I go on our five day adventure post Rwanda.

Some of the patients are now well enough to be discharged. Muhamudu is a born entertainer, Joy sings to herself and pinches all the colouring pencils off the older kids, Rodrigue is a gentle, quiet boy who loves soccer and colouring in, and Alice who is beautiful both inside and out. Unfortunately for others they are staying in ICU a little longer and Honore having been on the ward postop had a minor trip back to theatre but is back to the ward.

The Open Heart International team here are all great fun and I am very aware of what a privilege it is to be one of the team. Thanks for having me.

Tags:  East Africa,