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Friday, 8 March 2013

Winding down...

Today was my last day in the hospital which was a very strange feeling. I spent my sister's birthday delivering babies and even got some more hands on experience doing all the baby are today (weighing, measuring, checking and dressing the newborns). I still feel slightly anxious when I'm holding a minute-old-baby but I'm learning to trust myself! Although babycare is the midwives job and not something I will really ever do, it has been a great experience for me and one of my favourite things. Rubbing the babies clean, keeping them warm and swaddling them nicely takes away a little of the guilt I feel that they are not cuddled up on their mum's chest. Up until now, the youngest baby I had ever held was my cousin Alex when she was just over a week old. She was probably about the same size as some of these as she was born early but that was 10.5 years ago. Having these brand new life forms in my hands and care is such a good feeling. I nicknames the only girl born today Caroline in honour of my very special sis!

Working in the hospital has been an incredible experience. Experience is definitely the right word. Thankfully I came out here prepared for the worst conditions so I wasn't too shocked by what I found (although I was still disturbed by it many times!) I have been pleasantly surprised by the doctors and the healthcare system here. The planning and setup is all there, they just don't have the resources to carry it out in the best way. Some things are good. They have field clinics where they go out into villages and do antenatal and childhood checks. They have a good and entirely free vaccination program. The doctors are generally well-trained and good at their jobs. It really is money and resources that are holding this country back from better health.

For my last weekend I have come down to the beach at Hikkaduwa to chill, relax and hopefully top up the tan (although it has been raining today!) I will spend Sunday with my lovely host family saying goodbye and then I get picked up for the airport at 3pm. My packing is as done as it can be (hopefully everything is going to fit and still be in the weight limit!)

I am so sad that my stay in this beautiful country is coming to an end but I also can't wait to get home, see everyone and share my stories! I will just have to come back to Sri Lanka one day!

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