I knew when we hit the ground in Congo it would begin with a sprint. I was right. This week was crazy, beautiful, hard, fun, exciting, a little bit scary and a whole lot of busy!
Monday was the big day - the start! Our 200 new Day Crew came aboard for orientation, then I got a whole lot of information and paper from the Advance team handing it over to me. Tuesday we visited hospitals, Wednesday another hospital visit and tour, lots of meetings, plans changed about a dozen times a day, and then the details of those plans had to be changed, which is my job. I met about a bazillion people, juggled programs and meetings and tried to make plans for next week and the following, and all the while remembering I'm on a steep learning curve as it's all new to me - but not only that, this education plan that I'm tasked with executing, is brand new for our organization so it's all new to EVERYONE.
At the same time as all that I'm trying to speak and translate in French again, meet and train up my new day crew working for me, learn my way around a new city and new culture and new expectations, settle back in to standard 'field service' routine (which was suspended at the end of Guinea)... (which, by the way, seems like a lifetime ago...), meet new people and reconnect with those returning, and somewhere in there catch some quiet time.
It was really fun - this job is just such a great fit for my skills and abilities, and so much of it I just loved! It was really hard - I found myself in tears more than once, frustrated with myself and trying to deal with the pressure and expectations on me (both real and imagined).
I learned a ton - about myself and my work style, about Congo and her people, about my colleagues and the organization and where we've been and where we're headed. I've gotten to know some amazingly wonderful people that I am so privileged to work with. I've had awesome conversations and interactions with people out on the streets; I've also been in uncomfortable situations with people that I would rather not see repeated.
I've got some half-written posts about Congo, the people, the experiences and the differences between here and West Africa, those may or may not get posted anytime soon. This coming week looks to be even busier than last, while the week after that holds our huge Patient Selection (formerly Screening) day - which I'm SO excited to get to be a part of! Then, the hospital opens!
So, my friends and family - a gentle reminder that anything you want to get to me in the container before Christmas should arrive at the Texas address (see the Mail tab above) by September 1. Honestly, if you have to choose, I'd much rather get letters, cards, even emails or Facebook messages, than any assortment of 'stuff'. Words - words of love, encouragement, humor, faith, or friendship are much more valuable to me than anything anyone else could send. Even in this place, with 400 friends and neighbors in my immediate vicinity, I sometimes find myself lonely and missing the people I love. So thank you to those who make the effort - it really means a lot.
A bientot - Krissy