Saturday, February 6, 2010

Last entry from Rwanda

Three pm today I was swimming in the pool the Milles Collines. All being well, three pm tomorrow I will be home. Jet travel and a seven hour time difference make for jarring changes.

The new resident arrived at 1:26 am this morning, a phillipino-iranian-canadian whose parents met in Japan who was doing a trauma/ICU elective in South Africa when the position in Rwanda became available. He's got the internet at our apartment working, something Greg and I could never do.

Had a last meal in Kigali. Wanted to go to Heaven, but Heaven is closed at lunchtime. Had a good indian and a couple of Mutzigs which seemed like a great idea at the time but now a mid-afternoon hangover is brewing.

Yesterday I finished early as there was only one case. A second case, a strip craniotomy on a 8 kg 15 month old with partly treated pulmonary atresia and a cleft palate was on hold pending the availability of rhesus negative blood. I asked how long this would take and was told its rare in Rwanda and might be two or three days away. Decided not to wait.

Had a leisurely evening mooching around the neighbourhood, getting off the main streets into areas only polupated by locals. Found a couple of car washes, and a place where vehicles are fixed, with mechanics making bits over charcoal braziers. Watched people play games bythe roadside. It was fun and I will miss it.

Its been a heck of a trip. I feel like a twenty-something again, backpacking around the world with medical students and residents. Loved everything except the work. I'd like to come back and do something different, but it would be odd to just be a tourist and not contribute anything. Don't think I'd like to be some functionary of an NGO with a nice suite somewhere taking lunches by the poolside and entertaining visiting dignitaries at Heaven. Maybe in this imperfect world I am doing the best I can, making the most useful contribution possible, and the stress that comes with that just means I am trying to do my job to the best of my abilities. Yeah, I like that idea..

Thanks for following this blog. I may put in a postscript or two later, and I hope to add some more photos once I get home.

John signing off from Rwanda

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