I've been in Benin for four days. It feels like it's been a few weeks.
Although I still am not sleeping well, the transition back to ship life has been relatively easy. I'm blessed to have a few handfuls of friends already on board, and have met some really lovely new (to me) crew.
Benin is not war torn. There are no UN soldiers (at least none that I've seen). When you walk onto the street, tension doesn't hit you along with the humidity. There is electricity, hotels with nice pools, and today I even went through a fully functional toll booth. It's very different than Liberia. However, unchanged is the need for health care services. The mass majority here have no access to medical care. The needs are great, and the OR schedule is full.
I've spent my first two days at working in communications, and am learning what will be expected of me as a writer. My eyes are adjusting to the computer screen and backside is adjusting to hours in an office chair (nurses never have time to sit :) . It's going to take a few weeks to find the pulse of my new position (you like that nursing innuendo?), but once I find it, I think I'm really going to enjoy it. My job still requires me to spend a fair amount of time on the ward. I'll still be getting my daily dose of cute kids and have regular opportunities to talk about "nurse things".
Tomorrow I'm traveling up north for three days, to document several patients who have had various surgeries.
It's definitely been a running start, but I prefer to be busy rather than bored.
But I do expect to sleep soundly this weekend.