Monday, 29 April 2013

Today was just one of those classic Afghan days where so much happened it's hard to wrap your head around...

This morning after my shift ended I had decided to make my way over to the Korean Hospital, which is maybe a two minute walk from both the office and my bhut. I did not know much about the Korea Hospital, but I did know that like the Egyptian Hospital I was going to the last time I was in Afghanistan, the Korean Hospital is a medical facility open to the Afghan public.

With no real plan in mind, I walked up to the guard at their compound gate and explained that I was interested in volunteering. He wasn't quite getting what I was saying (I couldn't quite place his nationality, but definitely not Korean!) but in the most serrendipitous coincidence, he gestures behind me to a group of Koreas and turns out one was Program Director. She led me into her office, made me a cup of tea and then we had a really scattered conversation about the hospital and volunteering as she zipped in and out of the office meeting other people and answering questions.

She gave me a tour of the facility which could not be more different than the Egyptian Hosptial. Funded by the Korean government, their hospital is a two story brick and mortar structure, the lower level serving as an outpatient clinic, the second floor equipped with an operating room and 16 outpatient beds.

I spent an hour from 9-10am sitting with the techs in the large waiting room/reception area, learning how their system worked - from the extremely intensive security check by the US military, to the reception area where patients explain their ailment to an interpreter who decides which of the 9 clinics they should attend, to the lab station where I was sitting which takes height, weight and a thumb prick before they are allowed to go to the clinic specific waiting area. The techs also ask the Afghans if they are diabetic, apparently Afghanistan has an unusually high diabetic population do to their diet.

I stayed about an hour in the hospital before I had to come home and go to bed before the night shift, but I can't wait to head back again and will definitely follow up on those visits.

Then, after about 8 hours of sleep I woke up around 6:30pm and when I tried to boot up my internet I received a message from the internet carrier stating their was a basewide blackout as ordered by the Garrison command. Having just slept the day away I had no idea what might have warranted the blackout, but I soon learned about the plane that had gone down on the base, just a few hours before I woke up. You can read more about the crash here:

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/29/17969621-officials-cargo-plane-crashes-at-bagram-airfield-afghanistan

My heart goes out to their families

3 comments:

HerbalSW said...

Hey, Michelle
Is there a way to know when you have updated the blog?

Michelle said...

Hmmm that is a great question, let me have a look and see what I can find out!

Michelle said...

There should be a blue button somewhere on the page that says follow? If you create an account with blogger it will allow you to "follow" the blog by sending email updates to the email address you provide