My trip to the Boston spa was in parts enjoyable, although I didn’t manage to quite get the hair cut I envisaged. No layers, no shaping; just a simple straight cut all round. Oh well, at least they didn’t attack me quite so brutally as they did in the Hilton hairdressers.
Following my recovery from whatever feverish illness I had, we enjoyed a good few meals out in Addis and celebrated Jeremy’s birthday in an Indian restaurant. Thankfully, Clara is mega organised and brought some cake and candles along so we managed to do the whole ‘happy birthday’ thing and returned back to the hotel pretty stuffed. As you might imagine, we don’t need a great deal of food to become full up nowadays so we end up ordering for one less person than we have in the group. I’m sure that will all change on return to the ‘healthy’ UK portions.
Back in Gimbie, and I ran my very first focus group discussion to try and evaluate the work that I have been doing over the past 10 months. Well, two Ethiopians actually ran the group, on account of my not speaking good enough Oromifa. My biggest fear was that no-one would turn up and so I was pleasantly surprised to have a 50% turnout. Pretty impressive given that some of the women walked for 2 or 3 hours to come to the meeting. They were fairly quiet to begin with but eventually became confident to chat about their experiences of antenatal and intra-partum care. So far, all seems very positive and women (and their families) do appear to take the advice to deliver in a health facility seriously. At the end of the discussion, they were asked what they would suggest could be done to improve the service and they responded by suggesting that I should come and live in the village, and even better still, live in the health centre houses. Clearly, that is not going to happen, but it’s nice to be valued.
One of the challenges now is getting the clothes dry in an environment of daily rain and minimal hanging area. So the clothes always smell a little musty and feel pretty damp. Mind you, I have got used to looking a little tatty, on account of having nothing that fits me. So smelling mouldy just adds to the effect. Very excited today though as a new order of clothes is arriving from the UK – Camilla went back home to renew her visa and so I ordered a few items of clothing from French Connection and she is bringing them back.
Jaba is here with us today and I have just noticed that he has ringworm on his head. We have some anti-fungal cream though so we will treat it before it gets too bad.