First Day in the office – Emma Drawbridge


I arrive at the hospitals reception at 8.30am and the first thing that comes to mind is that Muhimbili hospital is much bigger than I expected. Once at reception I asked to be directed to my new manager, firstly I’m told she’s not working today shortly followed by she doesn’t work at this hospital. Worryingly I check my notes to make sure I’m at the right hospital, I am. So I approach reception again and explain that I am here to work on the cervical and breast cancer screening program, reception kindly directs me to a building a short walk from away. On approach to the building I suspect they have pointed me in the wrong direction, first clue that gave it away was the giant paediatric oncology sign. I go into the building anyway and find a helpful nurse that directs me back to reception.
I’m back at reception with a different set of receptionists who direct me to the x-ray department, I feel I’m getting closer; this is based on absolutely no facts at all. I wasn’t any closer and a helpful radiologist directs me to another building. I’m now three floors up in the Kibasila building and I work out that this is a surgical recovery ward but on the third floor I find a ward sister who points off the balcony to a single story building. Down three floors I go and I arrive at my new office at 10.10am just in time for my first power cut.
I am now very familiar with Muhimbili hospital layout, pretty confident I could work on reception.
Emma Drawbridge


  1. Good job putting a positive spin on your travels around campus 🙂 Maybe reception needs a ‘big map of everything’

  2. I can’t help but smile at the familiarity and frustration of working in Africa on a PULSE assignment, where nothing ever seems to go according to plans… I used to hate this generalization, but “TIA” seems appropriate! Starting your day 2 hours late and with a power cut – you’re already a local. Loved the update and looking forward to hearing more! And I echo Anne – hope day 2 starts better!

  3. Good job! You see? There are no accidents! YOu would have had to learn the ‘layout’ anyway……so it was all meant to be!

  4. Hey emma loving the blog. Looks like you have fitted right in. We all miss you like mad.Keep up the good work XXX

  5. Hope the bumpy start is well behind you and that you’re now contributing massively in this new rolw. Your sense of humour is intact. Lots of best wishes and keep on updating your blog.

  6. Wow…that’s quite the adventure so far! I hope you are all settled in now, and I look foward to reading future updates. Take care!

  7. Nice one Emma!!! Hope getting around the city isn’t so challenging. Looking forward to hearing a lot more 🙂

  8. wow – whata first day! well done for being persistant – but I guess turnign round to go home was never an option! looking forward to hearing more about the hopsital layout and the receptionists!

  9. What a great start – you said you wanted adventure!! Keep up the blogging, I really enjoy your updates 🙂 X

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