Well I’ve worked my last shift in PICU and now have less than 2 weeks before I fly out to Ethiopia on the 14th September. In that time I only have a few things to do – shopping for last minute items with a list that is two pages long, completing the final draft and handing in my research project to complete my Masters and of course final catching up with family and friends!
For the next 12 months I will be living in Akum, which is a city in northern Ethiopia. It was the home of the Queen of Sheba and was the ancient capital of the Aksumite Empire. The languages spoken are Tigrigna, Amharic and English. Selam means hello in Tigrigna. I will be working in Axum St Mary hospital, which is a district hospital with 170 beds and a catchment population of 1.5 million. There are 160 health professionals including 6 doctors currently working there and I will join the paediatric and neonatal team.
I’m looking forward to going but will definitely miss friends and family, unlimited hospital supplies, tests and drugs and chocolate! Meeting other VSO volunteers a couple of weeks ago and sharing our experiences was great – plans are afoot to gather together from various points in Africa. Anyone else who would like to take the chance to visit Ethiopia over the next year is more than welcome – Axum even has it’s own airport!