Tuesday, May 4, 2010


With each passing day, many aspects of life in Albania feel more and more normal, and many of the things that used to shock me, don't even make me turn my head anymore. But today was NOT one of those days. Everything seemed strange, foreign, and I'm sorry to say, poorer. I felt very far from home.

Today, I was on hospital duty, taking care of Raj. The medical system here is just so different and so foreign to me. I have been spoiled with American health care, with large hospital rooms, privacy, and constant attention from nurses and doctors. So, as I sat by Raj's bedside on a small wooden stool, I was overwhelmed.

There were three children patients in the room, with no dividing curtains. Your business is everybody's business. At one point, I counted about 20 people in the small room! But with no chairs to sit on, other children's visitors were using Raj's bed for their personal seating! She wasn't bothered in the slightest, but I was!

I was confused when the lady came around selling spinach soup. I was appalled when I watched the doctor carelessly throw the burn-victim's dressings in the toilet and bathroom waste bin, and I was offended when I saw the state of the dirty bathroom (shutter). How on earth are people supposed to get well in a place like this? I'll be honest, I was thrilled when my shift was over, and I can't wait for Raj to get out of there!

No Toto, I'm not in America anymore!


Katie B said...

Oh my gosh it's hard to imagine it being so bad when you are so used to the US and all the strict percautions taken here! Is Raj getting better? How is the litte girl doing?

ajplays said...

Oh, Seesta! You are on the dark side of the rainbow, that is certain. Keep being a ray of light!