Sunday, 14 December 2008

Week 33 - Dressing a Buddhist Monk & a TV appearence!

Hello Everybody!

There have been times here in Vietnam when life has surprised me, and there have been times when I have surprised myself becoming accustomed to the way of life here. This week both of these statements have been true of my daily life.

Work at the hospital has continued to be challenging both from a cultural and professional perspective. (With only four working days let until I finish at the hospital, I have yet to complete the training of my trainee, my evaluation and summary reports, and write a proposal for funding for next year. A busy week lies ahead.) Still there has been plenty of adventure and incident to keep me going both in and outside of the hospital. As you can see from the picture and title above, one of our patients at the hospital is a monk, and we had very interesting 'dressing' session with him this week. He was trying to explain the kind of thing he is required to wear at the pagoda, now not being a Buddhist myself, I really had no idea what exactly his traditional dress would entail, so the only way we could figure out exactly how we could help him was to see the clothes ourselves. We have supported this man to dress independently though I soon I realised that he actually needed assistants, before his illness, to wear the second piece of religious clothing.. a useful piece of information, before I had him starting an impossible task!

The physiotherapy students that have been on placement have now left, and we will get a new bunch starting tomorrow morning. The previous bunch were an interesting and inquisitive lot, and were receptive to being grabbed for many of my demonstrations, so in tribute to them, here's a picture of them all!

The hospital staff have not been spared from having to participate in some of my demonstrations, and so in fairness to my volunteers for the 'patient stroke empathy' discussion we had last week, here is what they were required to do in the name of professionalism....

Now you may think I've been a touch cruel to use volunteers, but just to show that I am not just saving myself some embarrassment, here is my attempts to figure out how we could use household implements to help an upper limb amputee pull up her pants after using the toilet...

So to more social matters, Monday night was fun as I visited a cafe with live violin and guitar music played for a n hour or so, at my favourite cafe (KATYNAT). The only odd thing was the decision to have 'Mr Bean' playing in the background on the TV! Most people were indeed watching the 'Mr Bean' episode! Thursday turned out to be a very memorable day as not only did my motorbike engine stop dead, in the middle of morning rush hour traffic, but I had to return to Hoi An and my former employers CHIA (childrens hope in action). The action started just 600 yards from my house as my bike just cut out, and after a very quick prayer to help me drift across the crazy traffic to the pavement I found myself pushing my bike back to the house, where the local bike shop then spent one hour solidly trying to find and fix the problem. After one hour's work and with my ignition switch now completely unusable ( kick start lever to start the engine now), the guy charged me a shocking 20,000 dong, - shocking because that is the equivalent to 66pence for all the work... mechanics around the world take note!!!!, With my bike in tact, I headed to Hoi An for the afternoon and un beknown to me - my TV debut. My former employer was accepting a very generous donation from Nokia, so there was a handing over and placque unveiling ceremony, which had a local Vietnamese TV crew present. The very next day after returning from lunch, one of my colleagues at the hospital told me he had just seen me on TV, on a local news station! No speaking part but hey, TV is TV right?

I headed back to Hoi An this weekend too for my final goodbyes to my neighbours there, and some watery goodbyes. I say watery as the beer kept on flowing and I was ready for sleeping by 9pm Saturday night! Here are some of the farewells....

I must just quickly mention my day today, because after a breakfast goodbye with Miss Lai and Thuy in Hoi An, and a walk on the beach, I headed back home to Da Nang, but didn't even have chance to get back to the house, as I was met at the hospital by three male colleagues who took me out for beers and lunch. We were soon joined by some other colleagues including Miss Huong, which led to only one thing... yeah, karaoke! It was almost 6pm before I finally got back to home to relax. Just another typical day in Vietnam!

The idea I'll be home in 10 days just seems very unreal to me right now...
Regards from Vietnam

1 comment:

FanVIta\m/ine said...

U returned Hoi An on the 14th but i was not there and you did not let me know! That sunday i was in Hue! a shame!
I dont know how we can meet up for the last time!???? this week!