Bet you're getting bored of me!

Trip Start Aug 11, 2013
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12
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Trip End Sep 17, 2013


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Flag of Sri Lanka  , Western,
Monday, October 7, 2013

Thought I'd better check in, let you all know I'm still alive and all that jazz!

Not sure when I last wrote but life hasn't changed all that much since then.
I'm really enjoying being a coordinator and the psych manager - despite how tiring it is being on call 24/7... It's a real pleasure to work for such an amazing company.
To be fair I haven't faced many problems with the new volunteers - a bit of homesickness though. It doesn't take much to remind them of what a beautiful country they're in and the difference they are making to the people's lives here...also a quick trip to 'Food City' and I can pick up a can of coke and a CADBURYS chocolate bar for them and that makes them smile!

Amongst my new duties I am continuing to work on the wards and in schools.
My new timetable is pretty full-on... HWH and NIMH monday, tuesday and wednesday - really really tiring and hard work, but I do feel that I am making big progress there. 
Patients that are able to remember me (and to be honest, they're rare, probably due to the use of drugs and ECT but I don't know..) open up to me quite a bit.
I have learnt a lot about some of my favourites... One women on Womens Forensics is here with severe depression after her baby boy died - she's the same age as me and look at the life she has, it's really frightening at times. Another is here because her husband had an affair... I don't know if he admitted her to get her out of the way, or whether she assaulted him when she found out - but I hope it's the latter!
Another of my most treasured patients is Ajatha, on the acute ward at HWH.
I initially assumed she was there because she's severely 'mentally retarded' as they say here...but she cries a lot, randomly, during sessions so I suspected depression or bipolar too. Turns out she does have severe learning disabilities, but was brought to the HWH for a 6 month  stay whilst involved in a court case after being raped and becoming pregnant. That was is 2003 and they never came back for her.
It just breaks my heart. Any where else in the world and would she have been abandoned like that?! Such a vulnerable, sweet woman. It's such a shame - we forget how easy we have it and we could all do with being reminded at times.

A good thing about my new timetable is that I have a new teaching project on there which I really enjoy, called Kollanawa. It's a shame that I have to stand back a bit and more supervise and observe the new volunteers, but I still get involved! Sometimes I feel like an embarrassing parent at a party trying to be down with the kids - but I don't think they mind! I suppose for the first couple of weeks it's helpful to them...especially when the English ability is so varied in the classes, and students can often just look at you completely dumbfounded after you've given them a set of instructions (that's where hand signals and especially slow speaking come in handy!)

Anyway... I better get off!
Time to shower and have dinner.

I hope all is well at home, missing you all lots and looking forward to seeing everybody when I'm back - it's quite exciting now that it's so close!

Lots of love xxx
 
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