“Laundry” list of activities

By Dr. Deborah Walker

ta da!

ta da!

I am getting settled in my quaint set up, feeling quite domestic as well. I have gotten the mosquito net set-up down to an art; I can do it in 5 minutes now, instead of 30.

I have hemmed some pants, cooked what I thought were English peas. They looked like peas, but didn’t taste or cook like peas- and took forever! But it was filling. I did my laundry today (by hand!)(in the tub!). They smelled fresh, probably because they still felt quite soapy. After hanging out to dry for most of the day, they smell like a mix                                                                between floral soap and smoke from                                                                area fires.

"clean" laundry

“clean” laundry

I have also set up a nice obstacle course in my place, for a “gym like” effect.   A chair for dips, mat for sit-ups and push-ups, etc., let’s see how long that lasts. Ha!

I have met some interesting people here at the “Titanic”, a man that works for UNICEF from West Africa. He kindly took the picture below of me, once with my phone and once with his camera. Several people just passing through, but individuals from all over, mostly doing relief effort type work.

Me, waiting, and waiting, for my transport.

Me, waiting, and waiting, for my transport.

Anyway, I have been busy preparing a lecture and activities for the “workshop” on Principles of Oncology Nursing and Palliative Care. I will do this twice, once in Lilongwe and once in Blantyre. KCN has invited the area hospital nurses, students and faculty. So preparing something for such a broad audience is a challenge. But I am SOOOO up for it! Cervical and breast cancer are such a burden here in Malawi…so I think for this time around I am going to briefly cover cancer basics and then talk about breast cancer and the need for early detection. Often women here cannot go for “screening”, like we can with getting mammograms. So the principle of early detection through self-awareness/self-breast exam, etc. and knowing what to look for are sooooo important. I will let you know how it goes.

I hope to travel some this weekend, so hopeful for some animal pictures soon. For now I leave you with this lovely picture right outside my room.walkerblogpic4_8-6



2 thoughts on ““Laundry” list of activities

  1. Do you know the percentage of breast cancer and cervical cancer for Malawi? I read an article about teaching women to perform their own pap smears. Of course, then you have to have a way to analyze, but thought it was most interesting way to examine. How is cervical cancer diagnosed? How many colpo’s are in the country? I would assume not many? Can nurses do the colpo’s? What aceto-whitening? Anyone doing cervical cancer screening using that method? Safe travels and healthy times!

  2. The real answer to your question on % is no…they don’t have a cancer registry really. So difficult to tell. They do project that cervical ca is an increasing burden along with others and is in the top 3, where as in the US, not so much. They typically do VIA screening here and then cyrotherapy..the problem is women do not go get the screening, nor do they get mmg…from lack of resources, transportation, fear….and the list goes on. Lots of work and awareness to be done.
    Staying safe and healthy!

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