Saturday, 10 March 2012

Day Workers

Welcome back.  It's time I introduced you to an integral part of our team.  A part without which we wouldn't function.  Seriously.  A team of nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, pharmacists etc from many, many countries.  Probably able to speak at least 10 languages between the lot of us (Among them: English, French, Spanish, Norweigan, Dutch, German, Indonesian).  But place us in West Africa... and beyond the English/french... we're lost.  You can't run a hospital when you can't communicate with your patients.  And the cultural differences and practices only add to the issue.  No matter how much you want to help people, communication is key. 
And this is where our Day Workers come in.  Locals hired to work on the ship in the hospital (and many other areas), translating and helping us to better understand their culture.  Making food that people from the area will eat.  Helping us to better understand those we are living and working with.  These are the ones that make this place work.  I wouldn't want to do this without them!

From their beautiful smiles and amazing attitudes

To the sometimes crazy antics

 Musical skills (honestly, they'll sing and play even if they have NO skill, but at least they're enjoying themselves and everyone else gets in on it an no one CARES what they sound like, so long as they are making a joyful noise!)

And finally, their joy in working with the patients. 

Our Day workers make and serve the meals

And this year, the men have amazed me by playing with the children and cuddling the babies.  We never saw this in Sierra Leone.  They just smiled at all the white girls cooing over the black babies (Can't help ourselves).  But here, in Togo, they love on each other's kids.  And it's wonderful to see.  Crooning lullibies to the babies and walking them to sleep.  Playing with the older children. 
And so VERY eager to help in any way they can.  Work isn't so much like work when you have people like this to spend it with. 
Day Volunteers.  We couldn't do it without them!

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