Coverage by Karolina Siwicka, an orthopaedist, on the first month of her stay in Malawi. She and her husband Piotr work as volunteers in a hospital.
We have been in Malawi for as long as a month, we have settled without the slightest obstacles. Each of us is at our respective places: I am with the small patients and Piotr is involved in filling the acute, the more acute and the most acute technical needs of the hospital; even our children are happy at the new school. Malawians, despite the prevailing famine (the meagre crops in the last few years were caused by too short rain seasons and devastating floods), are of exceedingly cheerful disposition. Time has a different dimension here and human relations are higher in the hierarchy than business relations. It is not fitting to fail to find a while to stop with the friends you come across and have a word with them. This way, people who were only recently strangers become a part of our lives even though there is a cultural gap between us and we have different kinds of problems in our lives. The hospital where we work is operating very efficiently due to the genuine commitment of each of the teams. Regardless of the qualifications, everybody here is working with devotion. They know why they are here, what idea they serve and this sense does not come from trainings, seminars, or the necessity to boost corporate results, but simply from the nature of the work here and the shaping of our characters by the children who trust us implicitly and the parents who believe in us.