Saturday, April 12, 2014

And one more weekend with news from Arabia

Yes, it is one more weekend as I write this. Actually, more than half of it is already over, since the weekend began after 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, and it is now nearly 1:00 p.m. on Saturday! Thursday evening was fairly routine, and I just relaxed in the house. There were no calls. I have ample food in my refrigerator, so there wasn't much I could do in the way of making new food in the kitchen. I spent the evening browsing the net, watching some videos and playing some games. In the night, I went to the children's garden and played tennis with Dr. Essam for a short while.

Friday was a quiet day. Again, I had not a single call until the afternoon, when I had one. Then, for the entire day, none. I continued my usual home-based activities, not going out at all. I have begun studies for part 3 MRCPCH and also for IELTS (the English proficiency test one must give if one wants to work in the UK). While IELTS is fairly easy as English is more or less native to me, the MRCPCH is likely to cause heart-burn as I am studying little every day. Mostly, a friend of mine who is an Egyptian doctor staying and working as a NICU registrar in Riyadh, and I sit on Skype every evening and discuss some cases. His name is Dr. Sherif and he is far younger than me (he is only 34). Like me, he is planning to appear for the final stage of MRCPCH later this year. Married, he finds it difficult to save money as Fridays are reserved for his wife and their family affairs. Even so, at my urging, he took out the time to sit with me and discuss cases for an hour. I think it is necessary for us to be disciplined as time will run out all too fast and then we will not be able to complete our studies in time. 

As a diversion, I am also doing an online course on "Creating a Business Model in Health Care" from an online MOOC site called eDX.com. This course is from the Harvard Business School and I am hoping it will help me understand how to go about starting a new venture related to health-care industry. Unlike pure medical studies, there are several MBA graduates, engineers, technologists, and pure business people studying this course along with doctors, health workers, nurses, and the like. I hope this course turns out to be as interesting as it looks to be. Sometimes, business concepts can be quite tiring and difficult to grasp for professionals like us. The chief teacher has 41 years of teaching experience in this field and has enabled hundreds of students to start their own health-related business ventures ... and says the size of the pie is more than 6 trillion dollars worldwide - twice the size of China's GDP! Of this, the US alone spends nearly 3 trillion in health care, and yet, more than 20 million US citizens do not get access to their health care system as they do not have health insurance. 

In the initial weeks, we are expected to socialise with other students and join a team of like-minded individuals with whom we can finalise a business proposal. This seems like a daunting task, and currently, I am just trying to negotiate the deep waters of this aspect of the course. 

My family continues to be in touch with me as I call them almost daily. Nishrin is busy with her own salon, as is Inas - deeply committed to make a success of her work as a hair stylist. Hannah has finished the second year of her BMS (Bachelor of Management Studies) and started her fifth of six semesters. Mom is doing fine, and her companion, Sakinaben, continues to stay with her. I barely hear about my brothers, but I guess they are busy with their own families and work. 

Here, in Al Muwayh, work and life remain static. However, the same cannot be said of the weather, which swings in disparate directions almost every day. Some days, there is a windy climate, bringing with it a lot of dust that coats everything ... such as the window panes of my house, my car, the small shrub-plants that grow outside my entrance ... and some days, it is unbearably hot, so much so that if one tries to use water from the tap that brings it down from external overhead tanks, the water is searing hot in the afternoon. Then again, some days, there is unexpected rain. And, to cap it all, occasionally, we get hailstones! This event occurred last about a month ago, and shocked me completely, as I had never seen such a thing in the kingdom before ... that too, in the hot, central part of the Kingdom! I even collected a few hail stones from outside my doorstep and took pictures of them to remember this highly unusual occurrence. 

That's about it, I guess, and I will, after completing this entry, go to sleep for a while. In the evening, it will be time to do my Skype studies and then, perhaps retire for some TV watching before sleep takes over. 

Thanks for reading this. Do leave your comments.

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