As is the usual case, once the working week starts, there is nothing exciting that one encounters in Al Moweh. As this was my on-call week, I was, for the most part of the mornings and afternoon, free to pursue my reading and/or writing activities, but, in the end, being the creature of habit, I loafed around the hospital, sitting in the ER with the doctors there, or spending time surfing the net, or visiting with any of the OPD doctors who were free at a given point in time. I did study, but, compared to the time spent doing all the other things, my studies amounted to almost nothing. I solved about a hundred MCQs in all, and scored about 70% overall, which is not at all comforting. I realized that I would have to read a lot more than I had thought previously.
To those who are yet unaware, I have to clear an examination conducted by Prometrics, the international examination experts on behalf of the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, before I can be certified and accredited as a Pediatrician and given a licence to work in this country. It does seem an unfair thing to do, as one comes to this country after considerable expense and is taken in and given a visa only after the verification of our certificates and credentials from our home country (India in my case), thus, there should be no need to re-examine us after we have started working here. However, this is how the penny drops in this country, and I have no choice in the matter. In fact, they will allow me a second chance at the exam should I fail to clear it the first time, but both my attempts have to be completed before the 23rd of May 2012.
In the most unlikely case of my not passing the exam in the second attempt, I would get a final chance to appear before the end of my contract in November 2012, but there would have to be the need for the hospital to state that they needed me, and I would have to pay the examination and council fees all over again (a hefty sum of SAR 2250/= or almost INR 30000/=.
My emergency evenings were moderate, but many of the evening calls to see patients in the ER led to admissions of the children to the indoor department. This unusual thing happened because of the widely fluctuating weather conditions over the past week; we had alternating bouts of biting cold and nauseating heat conditions that probably resulted in a significant rise in infective conditions among the mostly unhygienically brought up children of this locality.
I did not cook anything significant over the week except for mixed vegetables on Sunday and a mind-blowing masoor pulao with kadhI on Monday. On Tuesday evening, I had fish curry and dosai at the south Indian restaurant on the highway. I intend to do some serious cooking over the weekend that approaches.
I learned from my own family that the renovation of the parlour was almost done and Nishrin has begun to take clients in her newly refurbished place already. My daughter Hans has reached the fag-end of her examinations and is looking forward to being released from the stress cycle she is in for the last 1 ½ years … within a few days from writing this. Dad has been having the asthmatic attack for the last almost one week and is taking treatment with Dr. Saifee Savliwala. As to Inas, her training is progressing satisfactorily, and as per her own telling of it, she is enjoying this very much.
Let me now move on to a disclosure of my own plans for the coming months. After sitting for the Council examination in the second week of April, I am planning for a split holiday to India some time in mid-May. This is something that I am looking forward to. After my return from there, I shall plunge myself into studying for the examinations for the MRCPCH qualification of the UK. That’s it for now. And yes, if possible, I will perform the Haj this year, and if not, pray that I am able to do so the next year.