Work life balance… part 1

October 21, 2008 at 4:24 pm | Posted in Friends, Health, Life, Travel | 1 Comment
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I now have a dial up internet connection at the pink Palace hoorah! It only took an hour in the Suntel shop with wireless phone, my laptop, 4 staff and  7,700 rupees  sorted. I thought ,wrongly it seems that I’d be blogging away at a rate of knots ,not so, as the computer sits idling, its easier to say tomorrow ( getting into the SL  way of thinking and time keeping!) or I’ll get a round  to it  later as I listen to the Archers or check for flights to Bangkok ( more of that another day) ,so apologies for my tardiness.

Right then catch up ,work first. I seem to be jack of all trades master of none at the moment which is great some days and on others incredibly frustrating. Having been here  over 6 months to find out at a meeting, the Director of the hosp has wifi facility in his office, when I broached this with him he smiled and said he thought I knew. Access at work  simply means I can download stuff and read later, also print off stuff e.g. info from VSO or funding applications etc .I gather he wants his staff on the wards working not surfing the net …talking of which, on World Mental Health Day we held an Art Exhibition, “ Stamp out STIGMA with Colours” and launched a web site so check it out on www.nimh.lk  You can find me under services …oh matron!

 A new role seems to be that of photographer! I know  “steady the buffs!”some of you will be falling off chairs at the thought of those holiday snaps with the heads missing or views that look like they were taken in a gale force 10! I am not professing to be David Bailey , as I  haven’t got the hang of  sending,sizing and uploading etc but taking pics as a record of events  is all I’m  doing. As things are evolving  at the unit slowly,  building /repair works  in progress, donations in use (more lockers and tables the other day ) changing the wards into more homely environments ,its great to be able to capture this and compare with 12 months ago!

The women here love having their pics taken, some have never had it done before and are so grateful when a week later I hand over a 6×4 snap of them they show it off with such pride then go off to put it some where safe. I take a few pics a day, especially of the ladies who attend OT dept as a record of their progress when they ask for their pic taken( well  lots of pointing at my bag foto foto!) they disappear and then reappear moments later with combed hair or a change of blouse.  I say “ praise be” to the inventor of the digital camera its certainly a blessing for me. Whilst blowing my own trumpet I also managed to put together a power point  photograph presentation of the field trips we have been on which was shown  on a loop in the background at a recent meeting…a word of warning when I return, it will be like being invited round  to the neighbours  years ago to watch their holiday slides ,bet you can’t wait!

Another positive note with work , is  that we are progressing well ( hopefully not speaking to soon)with the planning of a stake holder event to be held in NOV, the objectives being

       To raise awareness of, and reduce stigma around, Angoda Mental Hospital and Mulleriyawa Unit 2, and the patients at both establishments

       To identify employment and commercial opportunities within business, through which patients may gain greater independence and confidence to reintegrate into the community

 

This is exciting as it involves cross sector working within VSO. I approached a fellow Vol in the Participation and Governance sector, who works with an NGO, Business for Peace Alliance, for his advice re the organising such an event and his organisation are going to support the event management.  From this we have identified a possible Short term volunteer placement to help capacity build my organisation so they can do this sort of thing themselves in the future.

 

The ladies at the paper factory have been paid (a very minimal amount in western terms) they have no complaints. At the support meeting, we hold on Saturdays, we discuss the weeks work, they enjoy the work and report an  increase in their productivity. One lady suggested a day trip. Some others were not so keen wanting to save their rupees which is great , exercising their right to chose what they do on their days off. I must admit it will be great to go out with them for a day ,suggestions so far are the zoo, the beach,  and temples. Just got to rally the staff to get planning and costing for next weeks meeting!

 

Yeah the ups and downs continue I wouldn’t have it any other way! That’s  enough  for now, I’ve started part 2 which I’ll post next week.

 

Seriously , tho’ I would be grateful if you have any comments about the blog, feel free to write below whilst you’re here. I’d appreciate it! Bohoma Istuutiiy  thank you !

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