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"Hello?!" Curious, I pick up my phone. I would normally ignore an unknown international number, but because I have to be isolated for a week, I gladly take the opportunity to have a conversation. "Daphne?? Are you there?? An enthusiastic voice that I can't place right away.. “This is Michael from Gambia! The father of baby Daphne! She is 5 years old now!!” Wow, unbelievable that he calls after such a long time, just to see how things are going! When I did an internship at the Lamin Health Center (2017), I assisted with the delivery. I remember well that I said goodbye to this sweet family, the day before I left for the Netherlands again. We were crammed into their tiny hut, no water, no electricity, 6 children, 2 parents, 1 bed. The pouring rain pattered hard on the corrugated iron roof. In the dim candlelight I carved my phone number with a nail into the clay of the wall (at the father's request). I didn't expect that they would ever actually get in touch, but 5 years later they have proven otherwise!

"I just really need to get out of here!" After being indoors for 4 days (and sleeping a lot), I feel so drowsy on Wednesday. I wait until it's dark so it won't be too obvious that I'm taking a little isolation break and walk outside. Dozens of fireflies stand out against the dark starry sky, what a beautiful sight!

I've been getting fit for over 3 months to be able to climb Kilimanjaro in Tanzania at the end of June. Almost daily about 2 hours of hiking, weekly running, it went well. Very frustrating to be out of breath after less than an hour of walking. Fortunately, the fever has subsided, the cough is already less and there is still enough time to quickly rebuild my condition!

I was happy to test negative this weekend and to re-enter the hospital grounds! I immediately took advantage of this by organizing a worship session in the psychiatric ward together with Elisa (psychologist from Switzerland) on Saturday. Wonderful to see how the more than 20 long-term hospitalized patients enjoyed and danced while we were playing the guitar and singing together.

Last night my parents arrived; very nice to see each other again! We're going to make it a fun week!

As far as my future plans are concerned, on June 29 '22 I will fly back to the Netherlands after some more traveling and climbing with Lois (my sister). Here I hope to follow the two-year ED training (Emergency Care Specialization). On the one hand it is a great pity to leave Uganda after six months, but on the other hand it also feels like the right time to invest in more knowledge and experience in the Netherlands. Fortunately, I can still enjoy the beautiful Africa for more than 2 months!

April 24, 2022


  1. Jaap en Carla

    Hey cool Daph! Get well soon and enjoy your parents' visit this week. And SEH is a good investment!

      • Marjolein Vogel

        Nice, Daphne, that ER; a good investment for those who know what is to come! Have a great time with your parents!
        Regards Marjolein

  2. Hélène

    hey daphne,
    Nice to hear that you are slowly recovering and hopefully can take on the sporty challenge 😉 how nice that your parents have arrived, enjoy with and each other xxx

  3. Erik van Halsema

    Hi Daphne,

    How funny that after 5 years you hear from these people again and nice that your parents are visiting, have fun together!
    Nice that you are going to climb the Kilimajaro with Lois, a great challenge! Thanks for the update and enjoy the time with your parents!


  4. Nelleke de Vlieger

    Nice that the baby was named after you and after 5 years you still got a message from those people. Can you see how much they valued you?
    "Cast your bread on the water and you will find it after many days." Carry on with that!

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