A new plan for my placement

Sunday 27th January to Saturday 9th February

I am a volunteer with VSO but all entries on this blog are my personal responsibility alone and do not represent the views of VSO

During these 2 weeks I have been ill, a new group of volunteers have arrived and I have come up with a plan about my placement.

Being ill! I have been very lucky really and had been pretty healthy since arriving. I have lost a lot of weight which I put down to the heat and lots of exercise (walking and cycling) and I feel better for it. However one evening after dinner I suddenly felt strange and I started 2 days of a stomach upset, quite a virulent food poisoning bug. After that I felt a bit better and went to work but realised how much energy I was missing. I wasn’t properly better until the following Monday.

During these few days the latest group of volunteers arrived – another 19 making about 52 in the country. 5 of the new ones are to work in health making 19 in total. I met them all at the welcome meal and then I got to know the health group quite well when I led one of the sessions for them during their in-country training. Then they went off to their placements, 1 at a State Ministry of Health and the others to County Health Departments.

Over the last few weeks I have been giving a lot of thought to my placement. It is due to end on 30th June and while I have considered that I might come back for short visits later if appropriate really I could do with being here in July and August to help with the consultation stage on the work that I will have been producing.

In fact the next stage of the work is to set down and write the guidance material I have been preparing, and actually I could do that from anywhere really and communicate by email.

On the other hand, from a personal point of view I think it would be good to be at home for a bit to support Barbara and the rest of the family. And I realise how tiring I find it here (and that’s not just because of being unwell recently)


So I have devised a plan by which I would return to the UK, perhaps in mid-March and carry on with the work there. Then I would return to Juba possibly in mid-June and stay for maybe 2 months. I have discussed this idea with both VSO and my boss at the Ministry of Health and both have agreed!

So I need to firm up my work plan for the rest of the time here now, for when I am in the UK and for when I come back later in the year.

Now that a decision has been made about this I have to say I am really looking forward to coming home for a while.

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