I’ve said this several times before, but the people in Rwanda are sooo nice- too nice. I woke up bright and early to Pascal greeting me. He manages the house on the Rwanda side and we have been speaking a lot via WhatsApp. He said last week he would come greet me, didn’t think it’d be at 6:30 AM. FINE. I went and got ready for work, just barely leaving me enough time to walk. Great! This is my last week and I’m running low on RWF, want to save it to buy lunch so minimal moto usage this week! I walk out to the living room now only to see Safrina! I hadn’t seen her all weekend (and subsequently went to sleep hungry at times). I hugged her!! She insisted I sit for breakfast. I tried to explain to her that I had 20 minutes before I needed to be sitting at morning report, but one thing I’ve learned about Safrina- don’t bother arguing, she will win. We compromised and decided I would take my omelette to go. In the meantime, Pascal wanted to chat. He’s a very attractive young gentleman and there’s something about Rwandan men, they’re always in suits!! His teeth are perfectly straight and he has a very nice smile. His English is horrible, ugh just speak French. I say goodbye as he offers me for the 3rd time to take the master bedroom in this 4 bedroom house I live in alone. “No, thank you, I like my room. It’s cozy.” By the time all was said and done, I had 8 minutes till I had to be at work- MOTO! Made it just in time, Tupperware with omelette in hand!

Morning report was especially long today. It was 2 hours. It’s a new month so the residents all changed rotations and the patients were new to them. I decided that this week I would focus on obstetrics. So I went to the labor ward afterwards. A resident didn’t show up for about an hour and a half so I read my book, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and offered my assistance to the midwives. They love me, not sure why but it may have to do with the fact that they think my name is Brielle ( my white coat reads Ayisha Brielle Buckley, MD and I think they selectively only see Brielle) , whatever I’m not going to correct them, it is technically my name, just my middle name! BRIELLE! BRIELLE! BRIELLE! Sometimes I forget to respond. In any case there was a woman getting ready to deliver so I stayed close. Next thing I know a resident appears! Emery. He’s a second year. He speaks so fast, I explained to him that if he wishes to speak to me in English, he’s got to enunciate his words!! By the end of the day, I told him to just speak to me in French rather than asking him to repeat every other word. We rounded on all the patients on the ward. Few inductions, 35 weeker with malaria, postpartum IUFD (baby died in utero). Nothing too crazy. We finish and he began piles of paper work. The patient with malaria was getting discharged and all she needed was a BPP to leave so I did it whole Emery caught up on charts. In this time 2 patients delivered- Emery didn’t budge from his seat. I asked him if that’s typical- he said he’s delivered “millions of babies” so he only goes if its complicated. I love delivering. I will always catch my babies no matter how far in my career I get! Apparently here before residency there is a prerequisite of having to work as a general practitioner in these district hospitals where to manage everything (c-sections, vaginal deliveries, men, blah !) , Emery did that for 3 years prior to coming to CHUK to focus on OB/GYN. So he did a fair amount of OB/GYN prior to this. Still weird, I have 2 additional years of residency on him and still love to catch a baby. Next we went for lunch by this point it was 2 pm, we chatted a ton about his family (he is the youngest of 6 and both his parents passed away) and goals for the future. I always find it fascinating, these residents have so much life perspective, they don’t perseverate over the things we do back home. I even gave him some resources I use to study – he has a study schedule and is super motivated to read and learn which I admire.

On my way home for work, I was stopped by a man who spoke English. He told me he was neighbors with me and started naming all the security guards, pascal, and Safrina. I smiled and nodded and shook his hand. I’m freaked out deep down. Next thing I know, he’s inviting himself over next Monday. Sure, sure. Monday is fine.” Only agreeing because I know by Monday I’ll be sitting in my New York apartment. “I love you!!” OK HOMIE, YOU CROSSED THE LINE.” I smile, turn the other way and legit run home- knees to chest. People here are too nice!! I don’t know how to respond, and at times it freaks me out. Guess that’s what happens when you live in NY and get a scowl if you say “good morning” to peppy.

Thank God, Safrina’s still there, jeez. She left almost at 7 pm all the while forcing me to eat all evening. I felt like a child. She said, “your mom will be so upset when you go back skinny! She will blame me!” I told her, “she will thank you if I come back skinny!” She laughed. She thinks I don’t eat, but I do- she just makes so much food it is far too much for an individual person to eat, I share with the security guard as and there is still a ton left over!! I also cannot use the stove which is a huge barrier. Essentially if she doesn’t come that day, I don’t eat .

Im getting a little stir crazy in the evenings. No one around, barely working internet, no TV, and everyone back home who I would talk to is 6 hrs behind. Also- Magnifique is in Senegal for a conference (good for him bad for me). I have brought books with me but I’m getting irritable. Tomorrow I think I will walk to town after work to get a coffee.

Safrina making an omelette in seconds