Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs.
— Susan Sontag, 1933 - 2004
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Beth97

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I'm Female, from United Kingdom

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My route

United Kingdom
Sri Lanka
United Arab Emirates

Link to this journal

Sri Lanka Nursing

Nov 2016 - Apr 2017

My elective placement in Sri Lanka

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It's booked!

3/11/2016

6:00pm

So, I have booked to go to Kandy, Sri Lanka for four weeks to work in a hospital as part of my Nursing degree! I will be completing those four weeks on my own but living in the Work the World house (the company I am going with), so hopefully will meet some amazing people whilst doing it!
I will then be travelling for two weeks afterwards (hopefully). There are lots of really cool looking places around Sri Lanka! My favourites being the elephant orphanages and the turtle hatchery!
I decided to make this blog along my journey. Whether it is just for my own enjoyment or if anyone wants to read it! (I am pretty boring and can rant a lot though, I warn you).
Hopefully this blog will make it to the end of my journey - knowing me I will forget my password or forget to do it or something! Oops!

Friends and flights

22/11/2016

6:00pm

Lots of updates since last time!
Firstly, one of my friends from placement last year, Danielle, is also going to Sri Lanka with her two friends, so we shall be there are the same time living in the same house!
And even better, one of my favourite university friends, Danni, is going too! So we are going together and travelling together afterwards!
Danni and I booked our flights a while back, we are leaving on the 1st of April and returning on the 11th of May, so we will be gone for 40 days, 12 days of which is travelling time at the end of the trip. We are flying from London to Amsterdam to Abu Dhabi to Colombo, a total of 19 hours to get there due to stop overs too.
It's already coming around so quickly, only 129 days left to go!

Injections galore and visas

28/2/2017

6:00pm

Haven't written in ages as I have been quite busy! Since booking flights, quite a lot has happened (probably as the trip is coming so soon).
Firstly, they cancelled one of our flights to go which, as you can imagine, was incredibly stressful. We rang the company up and they have sorted them out for us. It just means we now have a 7 hour 40 minute wait at Abu Dhabi airport where we will have to entertain ourselves and will arriving in Sri Lanka six hours later than previously planned.
Someone from Work the World rang us up and told us about a different placement that was available in Sri Lanka, in a city called Anuradhapura. He explained how the hospital we would be working in if we went to Anuradhapura has better facilities than that in Kandy. He also told us about the city itself and we decided that it was a better base for us for travelling around Sri Lanka, so we are now going there instead! The house looks good, there is lots of space in it which is good as there are 22 of us that will be living in it together, all girls that all do nursing, as well as people from Work the World that will be staying there too.
I also found out that I will be doing my first two weeks of the placement working in general medicine. The typical cases I am likely to see here are infections and diseases apparently, including dengue fever and malaria! The general medicine ward is split between four wards, with roughly sixty patients in each of these. I will be being placed in one of these wards each day, meaning I will have sixty patients to look after (with other people luckily!).
The second two weeks, I will be working in the general surgery unit, where I will be watching lots of surgeries, both planned and emergency. Apparently, I am likely to see lots of things being removed including hernias, prostates. Appendixes, and even limbs! I am really looking forward to working in both of these settings as I will be able to witness a lot of things that I would never be able to see working in England. Think it will definitely be an eye opening opportunity! Danni is also going to be working on these two wards at the same time, meaning we get to work alongside each other which is good, so we can get through the communication barrier together!
I've had lots of injections, which are certainly not something I enjoy. I had my flu vaccine, typhoid, hepatitis a and b booster, had the first of my two Japanese encephalitis (my other one is in a few weeks), a HIV test, a mantoux test for tuberculosis and a tuberculosis injection. That was all within fifteen days which was not fun! But they are almost done now thankfully. I have also applied and received confirmation of my visa, making it feel a lot more real. My scrubs arrived the other day and have to have the trousers turned up at the end, surprise surprise! My collection of travelling trousers as I call them (they are patterned trousers) keeps on growing, I have about ten pairs now and that's before I go!
The countdown is getting incredibly close now, we will be flying in one month and one day, scary but so exciting!

We have arrived!

3/4/17

6:00pm

The last few days before we left were so hectic, packing and saying goodbye to everyone. That meant I didnt get much sleep which made me so tired, but I thought it was ok because i'd sleep on the plane journeys.
I took the tube to Heathrow and had lunch with my family before meeting Danni at the check-in counters. We had checked in online beforehand, so just had to drop our bags in. Then we went through security and of course the machine beeped as I went through so had to go in the advanced scanner.
Our flight in Amsterdam was nice and short, we just chatted the whole way. Then our stop over was short too - enough time to charge our phones, go to the toilet and get a drink. The next flight was to Abu Dhabi and was about 7.5 hours long. We watched Fantastic Beasts, had dinner and then tried to get some sleep. However, neither of us could sleep properly so got about 2 hours interrupted sleep each.
We arrived in Abu Dhabi and met a man and his two children there who had flown on the last two flights with us. They lived in London but the man was originally from Sri Lanka, so he was giving us lots of advice on where abouts to go. We then realised that we all wanted to leave the airport in Abu Dhabi as we had a 7 hours and 40 minutes stop over. Therefore, we decided to all get a taxi to the mosque together.
The mosque was so amazing, it was huge and stunningly designed. They got us to put robes on that covered our heads that made it so much hotter for us. We then walked round and took lots of pictures of it, including the prayer room. When we headed back to the airport, we felt incredibly hungry so decided to get some breakfast (McDonald's). We then headed through security and waited by the gate with the man and his kids, although the man went to pray so me and Danni were left looking after his kids for an hour!
We then boarded the plane and both fell asleep before it even took off! I slept for the whole flight apart from when we had dinner, and Danni watched a film after dinner so didn't go back to sleep.
We then landed in Colombo and was met by Sam - one of the Work the World staff members. He took one of the bags and led us out the airport to go to the van that was waiting outside to take us to the hotel. The heat hit us incredibly hard, it was 8pm and 28 degrees! We got into the van (luckily with AC) and went to the hotel. On the way, we noticed how busy the roads were and how they dont seem to have any road rules, with people pulling out on each other and everything. We arrived at the hotel and met Rashmi, another one of the students undertaking her elective here. We showered and got ready for bed, and then a cockroach decided to go across the floor and under Rashmi's bed. So we looked for it and couldnt spot it, and called to the receptionist who came and had a look and also couldnt find it. Therefore, Rash came and slept in the bed with me and Danni!
We woke up at 6am the next morning and got ready and packed. We had breakfast - toast with butter and marmalade and papaya juice and then headed off just after 7am.
The drive was about 4 hours and gave quite a good insight into what Sri Lanka is like. The traffic was the same as the night before, everyone driving in front of each other and almost crashing! There were lots of market stalls on the side of the roads and loads of dogs who were super skinny.
When we arrived, we were greeted by all the staff who took our bags for us and gave us cold flannels and smoothie! We then had 15 minutes to get sorted before we headed out on our city orientation, to show us how to get where we will need to go. It was about midday, so was peak heat walking around the city. We got shown where the hospital, the local road of shops ('fifty shops') and the big supermarket are. We then went to a restaurant where all the other students were having lunch (as they arrived the night before) so got to see/meet them all! They all then went back to the house and we had lunch. The restaurant was chinese and i had cashew chicken and vegetable noodles which was incredibly yummy. We then went and got money out the bank and got a phone and sim card before heading back to the house. Everyone else had gone to the pool by the time we got back, so we got changed and went to join them. It was nice getting to know everyone, because the majority of them were from nottingham university but i hadn't even seen them before which was strange. We swam and chatted for a few hours and then headed back to the house.
It was one of the other girls 21st birthdays so we had a bbq on the balcony in the evening. The staff decorated it so nicely and made her a cake. She seemed as though she enjoyed it! We all then went to bed ready for our first day at work.

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