Volunteer Blog: Naomi
Naomi Elliott is our Volunteer Paediatric Audiologist based in Zambia for six months from February 2018. She will support our audiology services in Lusaka and Ndola. To find out more about the Sound Seekers team click here.
Naomi at Heathrow Airport on route to Zambia
The start of my Zambian adventure
“As I start my adventure in Zambia, here I go writing my first ever blog. I am currently waiting for my connecting flight from Nairobi to Lusaka and the view from the airport is probably one of the better airport sceneries as the sun has just come up so I am greeted with a beautiful pink sky. I have had a great send off from everyone back in London, been treated to a lovely pre-airport meal out along with some very thoughtful messages and gift from my friends and family.
I think the nervousness has slightly calmed now however that may be due to my lack of sleep on the plane! The excitement side is definitely still there and I am looking forward to meeting Dr Uta and her family who I will be staying with tonight and they have very kindly offered to pick me up from the airport. Next stop, Zambia!”
Naomi with the Zambian Minister of Health
Naomi outside the Children’s Hearing Clinic with members of the Lusaka Round Table Club
The photos to the right show the Children’s Hearing Clinic in University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia
The first month has flown by
“So a month has flown past already and it has definitely been an eventful and busy time. I am all settled in my new accommodation with two lovely housemates and a dog that resembles more of a large hamster than a dog. My housemates have also attempted to teach me how to cook Zambian vegetables such as sweet potatoes leaves, however the outcomes have been of mixed success so definitely need more practice there.
So moving to more audiology related things, on arriving at the hospital all the staff have all been very accommodating and friendly from the first day I started. I was definitely not expecting patients waiting already as soon as I walked in but it highlighted the need and importance of the Audiology Centre of Excellence. So far the clinic is running really well with an ongoing stream of patients of all ages and since starting I have seen 75 patients and fitted 10 patients with hearing aids. I have also been introduced so some amazing people involved with Zambian health care and had the honour of meeting the Minister of Health.
I have been overwhelmed with the amount of new names and faces that I have come across over the last month both within work and outside but everyone has been extremely friendly and willing to help out where possible. For example we have recently had a visit from the Lusaka Round Table club and their families who very kindly devoted an afternoon to doing up the gardens outside the clinic so it is looking pretty smart at the moment. Well overall one month in Lusaka and I am still loving Zambia and will have more updates soon.”