The weekend before Christmas and there is an air of anticipation. Many of the hospital staff have left for their home villages, whilst others come to spend Christmas with their families here in Munda. The hospital wards are quiet and we are preparing to share a Christmas morning Lotu and breakfast with the patients that remain in hospital.
It has been a mixed time of work and parties. Two unrelated episodes of violence have led to the transfer of two patients to Honiara over the last week: one with a stab wound to the chest and the other a serious eye injury. Graham escorted the first and our visiting paediatrician and midwife from Brisbane were able to act as escort for the second. Dr David was the first doctor to visit us from the Wesley Hospital and we hope to see him again. Socially it has been a busy mix of Christmas parties and farewells to our Director of Nursing Chris Leve and Drs Dina & Zotei who have now finished routine work at Helena Goldie Hospital to concentrate on packing up, although Dr Dina has spent the week in Gizo with a queue of patients hoping to have surgery before he leaves.
At this time of family we are aware of the distance that separates us, but we pray that the joy of the angels, the eagerness of the shepherds, the perseverance of the wise men and the peace of the Christ child be yours this Christmas.