It has been awhile again. Why? I have had computer access that actually works in the poorest of nations that I have visited, including Sierra Leone which was billed as the second poorest country in the world at that time. And here in northern Canada? Not much for almost a month. To qualify that a bit, and to give the powers that be their due, the first two weeks or so of this rotation were spent in the high school gym because of encroaching forest fires. I think the station actually had some minor damage. We were still allowed to sleep at the clinic residence when not on call. So no computer in either place. Until our phones at the gym pooped out. Then we got a couple of Roger's cell phones. I love pressing buttons, so I pressed enough oddball icons (I'm a somewhat disgruntled Telus customer) until I figured out I could access my e-mail from the phone. I at least was able to check my e-mail, but my thumbs are primed for iPhones, not whatever brand of the day we had. So I didn't send much off.
So there's my excuse.
The last evening in Copainala found a few of us missing the post mission cervezas, so we went on a mission of our own to find a spot near the town square to toast our accomplishments. So we could walk home. The little spot with the cute patio overlooking the happenings? Dry. The only nice place was a cab ride away. We were then directed to a little cantina about a hundred yards down a dark road. The patio proprietors assured us it wasn't very nice, but we went anyway. We just wanted a beer.. How bad could it be???
|Omar, my partner in crime.|
The absolute impossible happened on my way out to work this time. I missed my flight. In 50 something years of travel, I have never missed a flight. I had the 0640 flight to Winterpeg, the alarm was set for 0300. In a flash of organizational productivity, I had totally packed my suitcase the night before. All I had to do was pack my cooler in the morning. The alarm went off. Actually, two of them, the one from the Ridiculously Expensive Alarm Clock Known as the iPhone, and the most annoying buzz in the world from my home alarm. Both got turned off for the extra five minutes of sleep. I woke up at 0540. No food packing, no shower, nada. I made it to the airport by six, and just missed the cut off for catching my flight. A few f-sharps and $150 later, I had secured a seat on the next flight, which would still get me to Winnipeg on time for the puddle jumper out here. And as I sat down to a breakfast of grease at Coyote Jack's, I watched as the last folks boarded my original flight. That the puddle jumper folks almost didn't let me on the flight to St. Theresa's had me fit to be tied. They said I was late, even though they had two flights scheduled to go at the same time. Graciously, they gave me a seat on the second flight. My fellow nurses were on the first one, and left promptly, non stop, at the scheduled time. My flight boarded 20 minutes later. And I arrived here before they did. I don't get it. It's the north.
I was pleased to find some of the office staff had taken up golf while working at the gym. That was for but a brief moment, until I realized they were trying to get the mouse. It ran behind the photocopier.
The gym was interesting to work in. The walls around the two stretchers were velcro-ed gym mats. One stretcher had no brakes. One night we ran out of oxygen in the big portable tank, while bagging a little girl who wasn't breathing. The spare was at the other end, and somehow the dolly to help transport it was MIA. A rather looming kind of man, a relative, just bear-hugged the new one, and with Superman-like strength and speed, picked the thing up like it was a toothpick and brought it to us. The child was shipped out, and is back home now, laughing and skipping and jumping around. Wonders never cease in this job.
Can anyone explain the "Dream Machine" alarm clock? It's got time zones! Some bright person, likely a man, threw out the instructions, and there are six of us nurses in the building, and no one can figure the dang thing out. Dream? Dream on, it's a bloody nightmare, that's what it is. Thank goodness for the Ridiculously Overpriced Alarm Clock Known as the iPhone. Provided you get up when it goes off.
And that is my world for now.