We started last week in Glasgow, the city where I did my first degree and a place very close to my heart. We had flown up on Sunday afternoon and stayed at a hotel on Sunday night after a few drinks with my old drama school friends. On Monday we went for a wander and a bit of an explore so I could show M all the places that I love in the city, including the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where I did my Musical Theatre degree all those years ago!
The whole reason we had gone to Glasgow was because one of the guys from my course (there were only 14 of us!) got married last year over in the states and so he was having a wedding celebration in the UK – the perfect opportunity for M to meet them all too!
The evening was beautiful; they had a ceremony and speeches and then we danced and drank our way through the night – they even had a ceilidh (like a Scottish barn dance!) and I managed to pursue M to get up and dance not one, not two, but three dances! It was so good to see them all too, I’ve missed all their wonderful faces so much!
We flew back home on Tuesday evening, followed by a brutal drive back from Bristol (we finally got home around midnight) and then M was back at work on Wednesday, bless him. The rest of the week, for me, was time to get organised – I needed to pack and make sure I had everything I needed for Africa.
After a few last minute trips to the shops for things like suncream and bug spray, I piled everything up on the spare bed, triple checked that I had everything I needed and packed it all into my colourful suitcase (I will be sharing a “What’s In My Bag” point soon for anyone who is interested!)
On Saturday morning, M and I had a lovely lie in (the last we would have together for over 2 weeks!) and then headed into our local village for brunch. Then at 4ish we packed up the car and drove to Heathrow Airport. After a bit of an emotional goodbye (it’s over 2 weeks before I’ll see his face next, after all!) I headed through security and had a bit of a browse of the shops (including buying some lovely Dior fragrances for M & I that we had seen in Glasgow airport earlier in the week and regretted not buying!) and then got myself a G&T.
My flight left Heathrow at 8.40pm UK time and then landed at Dubai Airport just under 7 hours later – 3.35am UK Time, 6.35am Dubai Time – so it felt like the middle of the night! I then had 3 1/2 hours to kill in Dubai airport whilst half asleep, so I got myself something to eat and managed to find some real tea to gulp down before heading to board the next plane. My next flight left Dubai a bit late (something to do with air traffic control) so I actually spent an hour on the plan waiting for it to take off. It finally took off at at 11.25am Local Time (or 8.25am UK time) and then I landed in Dar Es Salaam just under 5 hours later – 13.15pm UK time, 15.15 Tanzanian Time (so just the casual 16 hours then – plus the few hours in heathrow before my first flight!)
Passport control was a bit mad – I had my photo taken at one desk, handed in my passport at an other, then paid $50 at yet another desk, and then just had to wait until they called my name. After about 20 mins, my name was called and I collected my passport, equipped with my new Tanzanian visa and headed out to baggage reclaim. I always get a bit nervous when it comes to baggage halls, particularly when travelling alone, in case my bag isn’t there but thankfully my pretty checked case was sitting there waiting for me!
I collected my bag and headed out to arrivals, having bumped into a few other girls all doing the same placement as me on my way through passport control. The rep from Work The World, the company I am doing my placement with, was waiting for us and the group of us headed to the van and drove to the Work The World house.
I arrived to see a friendly face in the form of my wonderful friend Emily who is doing the same placement as me – she’s actually been out here a week already, and we overlap for a week before she goes to do a week in the local community. It was so lovely to see her after so long travelling, even though I felt incredibly grotty after so long in airports, and to hear about everything she has been up to for her first week – can’t wait to get started now! We were even assigned to share a room too which was LOVELY!
The Work The World house lays on a huge welcome dinner every Sunday for the new arrivals and I certainly felt much better after a good feed! Then I headed to our room for a shower and to unpack and sort myself out a bit before Emily came to bed and we gossiped our way to sleep.
Today was my induction day so I got to see the hospital and where I’ll be working etc – but I’ll update on that in next week’s post! I’ll try to update through the week if I have time too as I’m sure there will be loads I want to share!
Have a good week all!
To read last week’s Midwife Mondays post, click here: