Monday, September 22, 2014

Interesting stories from the last few months in a nutshell

Hi dear reader. I know many of you could not access Dayre, the application on which I blogged from June for three months, i.e. until August end. Hence, this post is a sort of summary of the things I did/experienced during these three months.

I was joined by a new Paediatrician from Kashmir India. His name: Dr. Mohd. Afzal Khan. He came around the last week of Ramadan, and within a week after Eid, we had to serve substitution duty in Zalm. The original plan was for me to go in the first week, and for Dr. Khan to go in the second week. Accordingly, I served my first week and returned to Al Muwayh on the coming Sunday, while Dr. Afzal reached Zalm to do his share of the two-week locum. Unfortunately, the director at Zalm refused him to return after his week was up, as, according to him, the Muderiya in Taif had been unable to find anyone else to replace him. (The Zalm Paediatricians were both not available: Dr. Hany went on his annual vacation, while Dr. Hamza, the other pediatrician went on emergency leave as he underwent back surgery for a severe disc problem.)

Dr. Afzal did six weeks in Zalm, and only returned after that. He was really bored there, as Zalm is an even smaller village than Al Muwayh, and if you search my blog, you will find that I have done several substitution duties there in 2012 and early 2013. 

In any case, it is only after Dr. Afzal returned that I was able to go to Jeddah to give my DHA exams, about which I have written in an earlier entry this month. In Jeddah, I sold off my old Toyota Corolla, and bought a 2010 Blue Hyundai Accent. The three days I spent in Jeddah were quite unique, in that I had the company of a Pakistani taxi driver Tanveer Malik; the latter stayed with me for 1 1/2 days, taking me to the exam center and back to my hotel, driving me with my car to the car market. 

After this, I had to again go to Jeddah to join the MRCPCH Clinical Training course at the King Abdul Aziz University Hospital from the 11th to the 14th of September 2014. This time, I drove in my "new" car, and the experience of driving in a properly air-conditioned car was really enjoyable. I stayed in a small hotel (Hotel Imtiaz) in the Al Naseem area of Jeddah which abuts the way to the university hospital, and is also close to the Bani Malik area of Jeddah. This hotel gave me a single room for just SR 100 per night, and I was therefore able to save some cash! However, I did a lot of shopping at a nearby mall (Danube) on the King Abdullah Road. Danube Mall is fantastic! The range of items available here is phenomenal. In addition to the hundreds of varieties available here, they also have a lot of imported stuff such as organic foods, chocolates, teas, coffees, biscuits, snacks, chips, etc. etc. These items are specially highlighted as "Imported" items on the shelves, and their prices are more than the other items sold by the side. 

I should also describe one more thing: during the six weeks that Dr. Afzal was in Zalm, the nurses in Al Muwayh organised a string of parties for one event or the other; they organised a send-off party for Dr. Tariq, our Syrian general Surgeon who has now been transferred to Taif and been promoted as a Thoracic surgeon.

Cakes and pastries for Dr. Tariq's party

Food and pizzas for the same party

Dr. Tariq
Then, there was a huge birthday party for one of the nurses, Virginita Camaro, who turned 54 on 1st July. This was a very well-organised function, and I did participate in the party by sending her a gift, and by being sent food in a special plate to eat in the hospital.

The invitation card for sister Virginita's birthday party

The message inside the card

The front of the wish card
The back of the wish card
The third was a baby shower for sister ____ who is expecting a baby in November. This unique party was preceded by all the invitees being given a blank card with lines to fill in as "advice for the baby". There was stuff like "Don't forget ....", "Always love ..." etc. I filled my card with a lot of nice lines for the baby.

The fourth party was a joint birthday party organised for four nurses who had birthdays in August, among them my good friends Sisters Maui Rogelio and Jocia Villaveurte (I know, simple last names, na?!!). Although I was not directly invited, they did send me food the next morning. Apparently, this was a very funky party as well if eye-witnesses are to be believed.

Yet another party was held to give a warm send off to the girls who work in the hospital in a subordinate capacity. These girls have apparently completed their tenure, but they have been asked to continue till replacement is available. There are 13 of them, and  they are all my good friends, esp. sister Kathy, Sandy, Maze, Estella and Armalyn. Once again, I participated vicariously - food was sent for me in the hospital! 

In addition to this string of parties, there were a few other things that took place ... but of these, in my next post. Thank you for reading.

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