Ramadan started last week and it shows! It is a lot quieter on the street, no music, no ataya, everyone is lazy and exhausted. On Monday I don't see many patients during my 12:00 - 4:00 pm shift, which makes it slightly boring. I also work at school and in the evening I go to some friends in the village.
On Tuesday I have a night shift, which gives me the opportunity to go to Senegambia in the afternoon as a spontaneous action after working on project 'tracking team boxes' in the afternoon. Have a drink on the terrace, change money and visit the 'supermarket'. In the evening 2 women come in during my shift with a newborn baby on their arm. The woman gave birth less than an hour ago, miraculously, she had no idea that she was pregnant until the time of delivery. Since she was severely torn from childbirth, our job is to attach her. I won't go into detail, but the bottom line is that it is a painful, bloody, slimy, smelly job.
To increase the sense of togetherness and experience what it is like to fast, we decided to fast with all the girls on Wednesday with our Muslim friends and colleagues. Not eating all day and especially not drinking with these high temperatures is quite a challenge. Fortunately, I still have enough energy to focus on the clinical lesson and run my shift. In the evening we are happy when the sun has finally set, because we can break the fast. Delicious 'hamburger buns' made with tapalappa, minced meat, egg, tomato and cucumber.
Thursday Diabetes Clinic! Despite all the flyers and promotion, there are only 2 people for the diabetes class. Well, why not invite the people who are waiting in the hall to the doctor's consultation? Eventually managed to recruit 12 people (including a few members of staff), who may not have diabetes, but still give me the feeling that I am giving my lesson for a reason.
Friday after my shift and intervision, we will have dinner with the Dutch doctors. In the evening to a friend in Churchillstown.
Saturday June 3 it's my birthday! Early in the morning I am surprised by the girls singing with super nice gifts. At 08.00 we leave for Banjul for a boat trip. Every now and then a lovely dip in the water. While Kid (Gambian) pulls one fish after the other out of the water, with only a thread with a hook on it, we try hard with 11 men to catch some fish with beautiful rods. I think fish are afraid of whites because they don't really want to bite with us. In the end some of us got the hang of it and at the end of the day I also caught 2 fish. A flat square Angel Fish and a dangerous fish with poisonous fins. After we get home around 7 pm, I hear a car honking less than 15 minutes later. I walk to the balcony and see an Opel Vectra with a Dutch registration! I run downstairs and yes, my father and brother have arrived! Wow I'm proud of them! They drove together from the Netherlands to The Gambia in 10 days, what an adventure. In the evening I can unpack my bag full of presents with the whole family, super sweet!
After a nice night on the balcony, we go to church this morning with the 3rd. The population has now increased, 12 people today, new record! This afternoon out with my father and brother, next week nice and free from internship.