So I’m alive!

5 Jun

Yo, sorry I haven’t updated, apparently in addition to lack of running water, internet’s also a little difficult to find in Africa. Word has it that it’ll get better soon though! Pretend that I updated this like a week ago.

Well. Here we are. Just me and an empty page. And you! How to begin? How about hello? Bonjour? Dahmela?

Well to start, Andrea and I have successfully arrived at our new home at Maluti Hospital in Lesotho… after two and a half days of airplanes and layovers. How great is that? Pretty damn awesome ‘cause I don’t have to sleep in an airplane seat anymore. Take a look at our sweet set up!
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(Cue uproarious laughter.)

Just kidding, it’s honestly not that bad, haha. This is my bed area, Andrea and I have two rooms and we’ve turned one into a bedroom and one into a living room. Not too bad after a little decorating, eh?

 
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(After a woman’s touch)

I feel myself settling down, though it worries me a little that just after one day it feels like I’ve been here for at least three. Wonder what two months’ll feel like, haha…

Anyway! Let’s backtrack.

 

So first, Andrea and I showed up in Atlanta, and that was boring, so then we got on a plane to Paris instead! That was pretty exciting.

We had about a 9 hour layover so we adventured out into the city via a subway ticket to Paris, and popped right out of the ground at the Arc du Triumphe.

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(Triumph!)

Then we walked down the Champs Elysses (that long street with all the trees and fancy stores and a thousand tourists) and bought some macaroons, haha. Pistachio flavored (sorry Megs, :P)!!! No pictures… I ate them all. Then dinner in a cute little café, preserved duck and potatoes. Then trekked through the Jardin… something on the way to the Louvre where some statues thought they were prettier than me so I gave them a run for their money.

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(What up B??)

Snapped some pictures at the Louvre, then it started to drizzle a bit so we decided to fork over some money (lol a lot… oops) and hop onto a little bike taxi to take us to the Notre Dame cuz it was… really far.  Snapped a few pictures and looked for a subway station to take us back to the airport. Ooh! A bird man! He will know where the train is. Ask the bird man, get handed some bread instead, next thing I know, I’m feeding birds instead of being on a train.

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…. Ok that’s cool, too! …. Ok time for the train! Hop onto a train and off we go to Johannesburg, then…. Finally… after 2.5 days, we’re in Maseru, Lesotho, soon to be headed to Maluti Hospital 75km away from the airport.

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Yeeesssss we’re here!!

…. Andddd two hours and half later.. we’re still in the airport… and everyone else is gone because it’s a tiny airport and it closes (lol?) at 6pm (lol??) and it’s 5pm…

A few (expensive) calls home later, the driver’s just late, a little misunderstanding. Go the ATM, get some money, buy a local cellphone, do some frantic grocery shopping, then head to the hospital where we’ll stay for the next two months. Pass. The fuck. Out.

Yaaaaaaaaaay! Beeeedddsssssssss!

Sadly… no running water… damn. There are, of course, work arounds and though inconvenient, it wasn’t as bad as you might think (although perhaps I’ve just already forgotten what “normal” is). We’re to fill up big bottles of water from a reservoir to use for everything from flushing toilets to brushing teeth. We’re promised the water will come back on soon. Hopefully. On the bright side, the weather’s fantastic.

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Next day (today), we meet some really sweet people, we get a tour of the hospital, then meet with Dr. Rodriguez who’s the head of the hospital – we have a meeting Monday morning 7:30am to present our projects with all the doctors… no pressure. The rest of the day (starting around lunch) is just for me and Andrea to chill and rest. Sandwiches outside our cabin/dorm, rest, then open Sabbath (completely new to me, but dinner’s provided so there’s really no complaining) with the sweet people we met earlier today, and tea (really good tea) and chatting until we decide to go back to our rooms and now I’m writing.

Phewph. Eventful few days.

Ah! For those who don’t know, we are working as interns at Maluti Hospital for the Beyond Traditional Borders program at Rice University. We’ve brought and helped create several projects developed at Rice by engineering teams targeting low-resource medical centers and hospitals in the developing world. Andrea has a detailed post of the projects we’ve brought and will be demonstrating here at the hospital for the next two months.

More soon!

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