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Back home in Bangladesh

Written by Antje on June 28th 2017 21:42

I’ve already been a few days back home in Bangladesh! It’s good to be back home again, to get on with normal life and to start work again. It’s the end of Ramadan so the pace of life is now slower than usual. Fewer patients are coming to the hospital and our Muslim staff are soon going to take a couple of days of holiday.

My time in the Netherlands went well. Beforehand 4 months seemed very long, but the time went by quickly.

First, in the second week of February, I went to a medical education conference in Thailand. This is a gathering organized by an American Christian organization especially for people who work overseas and who cannot attend top up courses regularly. As well as there being an intensive program of presentations and discussion of significant issues and the most recent developments in surgery, with a focus on application in our own settings, there is also the opportunity to meet people working in similar situations.

And the conference was held at quite a luxurious resort. The overall intention is both learning and refreshment together.

I returned at the end of February directly to the Netherlands. My family were there waiting for me. It’s always really nice to know that I am welcome…

My time in the Netherlands was a good mix of discussions, meeting people, top-up learning and holiday.

Below is an impression of the talk at my church in Maastricht. As well as Maastricht, I went to a few other churches and small groups/individuals. It’s lovely that you are all so interested in my stories and that you follow in prayer and participation in my Bangladeshi work.

 

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For my holiday, it was wonderful that I could sail for 12 days on the Eendracht. Before I left originally for Bangladesh I served as volunteer hand on this ship and I really enjoyed the experience (despite seasickness) of sailing again with old hands and new. As well as sailing on this large ship I also spent a few days with friends on a smaller boat sailing through Friesland. Lovely weather, changing winds, good friends: real holiday.

 

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During the time in the Netherlands my youngest niece was born, much too early. She was due the following month. At birth she weighed less than 1kg and she’s still in hospital. I’m thankful that during the most anxious days after her birth I was in the country and could be there for her and the family. Her two older brothers stayed for two months with my parents. Because I also spent a lot of time there, I was able to be with them intimately. I really enjoyed getting to know them in such a close way. In the photo we are on the way to the hospital, and of course every single stone had to be climbed onto.

 

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I was also busy updating my learning. I have to register again as surgeon in the Netherlands and in order to meet the necessary requirements I need a certain number of study points. I’ve been to different conferences and symposia as well as taken part in online sessions. Hopefully I’ll soon have accredited sufficient points to register for another 5 years.

Next week in Bangladesh things should be relatively peaceful. Tomorrow it’s Sugar Feast, the end of Ramadan. People do family things and we have a few free days as well. Nice to have time to talk with people before my tasks as surgeon and medical director come suddenly piling upon me again!