Anyway, later in the day on Saturday I played tennis with Sewah and Meredith. Sewah is a semi-professional tennis player who trains Sasha and Meredith. It was a lot of fun, but I have never been more hot, sweaty or physically drained in my entire life. I was literally melting after just a few minutes and felt like I could barely move my arms or legs. A tennis raquet has never felt heavier. Davor made spaghetti carbonara for us for dinner that night and it was delightful! On Sunday, I was planning on sleeping super late since I was so tired from tennis the day before, but around 10:30am I heard a knock on our door. Nancy answered it, but I was too curious to stay in bed when I heard multiple people come up the stairs. Turns out it was Annisha and Amy! Annisha had just gotten back from R&R in London and Amsterdam so it was great to see her! Eventually Annisha and I made our way over to Sasha’s and hung out there. Amy, Nancy and Davor went for a work lunch at Country Lodge and Annisha, Ahmed (Annisha’s boyfriend), Meredith, Sasha and I had lunch on Sasha’s veranda. Sasha, Meredith and I have also started watching an amazing show called Orphan Black. Meredith has already seen it, but the third season just started so Sasha and I are catching up before we watch it. Literally we spent three nights in a row watching 3-4 hours of this show each night. So good. Check it out.
|The view from Sasha's veranda|
|CRS congratulating Bombali district on reaching 42 days Ebola free!!|
Anyway, when I was in Port Loko, I heard something very upsetting that, for some reason, my non-public health, non-medical, non-science colleagues don't seem to think is a big deal. Vaccines were being stored in Port Loko and 25,000 more are set to be stored there soon, but it turns out that there's not actually enough storage space. That's not the bad part. The bad part is that while vaccines were being stored there, the generator was being turned off at night. Now I don't know how long the vaccines would stay at the proper temperature with the generator turned off, but I'm thinking losing vaccine efficacy by not keeping them at the proper temperature is not a risk you want to take. But of course it's "a huge cost implication" if we have to start requiring them to leave the generator on so nobody wants to hear it. Utter nonsense.
On Friday I drove back to Freetown. The trip to like 5 hours longer than it should have and I still wasn't feeling well so I wasn't thrilled at being stuffed in the car with 5-6 other people (and one live chicken that I'm sure was someone's dinner later that night). We had a car take us from Makeni to Masiaka and then had to wait over and hour in the intense heat for the car from Freetown that would take us the rest of the way back. On the plus side, there were some cute kids who wanted to be friends with me which is always fun. When we got back to Freetown, I found out that we were doing a poolside BBQ and that Sasha and Patrick would be playing some live music. There were a good amount of people there, but it was pretty low-key. I met a CAFOD employee who was working with CRS on the Turkey/Syria border before coming here. She had some pretty incredible stories. When her driver would take her home from the work site each night, she could look across the border into Syria and see a sea of black, ISIS flags. It was pretty amazing to hear some of her stories and I can't imagine how stressful that post must be.
Lastly, in an effort to quell the wretchedly miserable mood I and pretty much everyone else in this country program has been in lately, I’ve started listening to this song a lot. It’s a good one and it's a good reminder when just about every day at the office or in the field seems like an insurmountable obstacle.