Well, we have done our best to avoid wasting our time here in Juba. The town is full of senior ministers, we now know why, there is a major workshop to improve collaboration and coordination between health sector partners, discussing subjects well beyond PAL and what we may offer. Unfortunately that has resulted in our appointments being dropped for meetings of far greater importance, however we finally arranged a meeting with their Director of Nursing, Janet Michael. We have met before when she visited Poole, and this time the girls were able to have a long, relaxed meeting. It was reassuring that she is very aware of the challenges of training nurses against a backdrop of senior staff with Arabic only and little real knowledge. We had not appreciated that between Sister Gracy and CHTI, they are training 2/3rds of all the student nurses in South Sudan, there are now 100 nurses with modern training across the country, we must have taught over half of them, at some time over the past 3 years. Not many people can make such a claim. We were able to reassure ourselves that the work we are doing fits in with her agenda, all in all a useful hour.
Meanwhile the boys went off with Father John to Bulus eye hospital to apply their fixing skills to a broken microscope. We met Father John at CHTI last year, he is now setting up an eye clinic in Juba. It’s early days, but Ben is excited about the prospect of more training facilities for ophthalmology. Unsuccessful, with the repair job, the parts are now coming back to UK.
We all met up again and came back for lunch by the Nile and an afternoon of r&r., writing blogs, reports and packing.
We met with Mark from Dorchester and heard that he had been invited to the meeting for the afternoon. Imagine sitting amongst all the South Sudanese big wigs, listening to strategy discussions! Luckily he had his shirt and smart trousers. He is going again tomorrow and will also wear his tie!!
Dinner we went a la carte, having finally had enough of the buffet, the hour long wait and then the wrong pizza was annoying, but when the right food finally arrived we were all very happy. No jimango cocktails, as all the gin has gone but plenty of local ‘Nile’ beer.