Editor’s note: Stiv Twigg served as an intern with CURE in 2010, photographing children served by CURE in Africa. We’re happy to welcome Stiv back as our CURE Correspondent in Ethiopia.
I thought of writing something that was succinct and simple because I can’t really find words for today. Work at CURE began again.
I was transported back to 2010 in some ways, as I remembered all the time walking around in scrubs in children’s hospital wards and surgical theatres, explaining I am a photographer (“Ana Photographer an-shinegn.”), what I am doing there, getting in lots of quick intense conversations, then snapping back to meet the next kid as he or she comes in with Mama to prepare for the surgery… trying to make the kids laugh and feel at ease when it’s a scary process for them and they are not sure what to expect.
I am very privileged to be on all sides of the equation at the hospital. I work here with the patients. I am hands on, and I get to be in their lives, play with them, talk to them, and see them and their families everyday. I also get to be inside the operating theatre and smile and hold their hands as they have to go under anesthesia, and I get to greet them when they awake in a haze and they are feeling lost and uncomfortable. The care that the kids get at the hospital, the love, and the incredible medical expertise are really a testament to God’s work here. It is a privilege to be a part of it.
I don’t know that my photos or video could ever really convey that whole experience. It is amazing. I shall try.
Today I awoke early, met up with my project director, who is in country for a week, and talked with her and the head doctor about the day and the hospital and such. We all went and prepped, and by 8 AM I was in scrubs, camera ready, and looking for the first of our six patients for the day.
It was a great day of remembering how I don’t get squeamish when I am around intense graphic surgical maneuvers, how I think scrubs are awesome clothes, and just how incredible orthopaedic surgery can be. I love photographing it.
I have an excellent colleague in my work here who will be assisting me with documenting the stories and getting to know the patients. She has the language on her side, being from Addis herself, and loves to sit and talk with the families who come through. All in all it is really nice to be remembered as well, having worked here for about six weeks in 2010.
Tomorrow we have two surgeries scheduled. In two weeks we have an intensive schedule for a week of cleft lip and cleft palate operations. About 70 in one week, so that shall keep me on my toes.
I look forward to what is to come.
Originally posted at: http://bonganiwalk.blogspot.com/2013/01/my-first-day-of-work-again.html.