Survival of the Most Stubborn

VSO vols are falling fast in the Great Kunene Region.

First M and A are off back to Canada from Khorixas for a variety of reasons to do with all sorts of stuff. Although they arrived earlier than me we did our second in-country training together and I’ve seen them a fair few times since when I’ve managed to blag myself down to Khorixas on some tenuous excuse.

They will be sorely missed by their VSO colleagues (as well as, I’m sure, the MoHSS and their patients). One of my abiding memories of ICT2 was drinking the bar dry of Tafel lager with M. Good luck guys! I look forward to crashing on your hospitality in Canada in the future much as I have here 🙂

Secondly H has gone from Opuwo. He was the Regional Occupational Therapist and shared an office with me.

Simply put he, along with one or two others, have been the reason I landed so “softly” here and have been able to cope and enjoy my time.

When I arrived late at night, dazed and confused, at the casualty (less than 6 days in-country at the time) it was he who turned up with my key, welcomed me, settled me in and then gave me my first tour around the next day.

Since then he has been nothing other than an excellent friend helping my feckless self out with everything from finding someone to do my washing to the joys of daytime drinking in the various shebeens (in moderation and only at weekends of course).

He is off to a “proper job” at the Katatura Hospital in the capital. I dropped him down there on Sunday (the place is massive, I mean, seriously, big). Like the others he’ll be sorely missed by me, the ministry and his patients but I wish him the best of luck for the future.

Actually at this precise moment (with the other two vols away on hols) I am the only VSO in Opuwo District. This of course means it is on my shoulders to uphold all the finest traditions of VSO and the United Kingdom generally and conduct myself in an upright and sober manner. So it’s down the bar later then.

Having had my Placement Review yesterday (more on that later, perhaps) I also now know for sure that there is nobody coming up here in the next (September) VSO intake so it’ll be March 2010 at the earliest.

Luckily I am dealing with this relative isolation well by (a) rocking back and forth and (b) encouraging the voices to speak more. Dribble.


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