I decided to travel to Zambia with Work the World for my nursing placement. I have always wanted to experience Africa and couldn’t say no to an experience like this.
As soon as I stepped off the plane everyone was so welcoming and I knew I was going to love the next four weeks in Zambia. On arrival at the Work the World house everyone was so friendly. The in-country team and my housemates, who became my family while I was there, made me feel at home.
The house was spacious and the pool was great after a busy morning at the hospital. BBQ nights, where we took part in either traditional dancing or games, were some of the highlights throughout my trip.
While in the hospital I spent one week in oncology, one week in the intensive care unit and one week in A&E. It was evident when walking around the hospital that there was a lack of resources compared to back home.
It was great to see conditions we don’t have back home and how the nurses dealt with these.
The health professionals took it in their stride to find ways to care for their patients and had to improvise with what they had. For example, a patient came into emergency with an open leg fracture and all that could be used for a splint was a cardboard box. Similarly, gloves filled with water were used to relieve pressure on patients’ ankles.
It was great to see conditions we don’t have back home and how the nurses dealt with these. The nurses were able to explain the different conditions to us and we could, in turn, explain the conditions we have at home.
The village week is a must! The host family and guide welcomed us into their home and treated us like family. I was able to spend a day in the maternity ward where I had the opportunity to see two births which was amazing. With lots of women and their babies in the maternity ward, mothers had to put up with beds on the floor in whatever space they could find.
After placement, we had time to visit the local markets, the elephant sanctuary and we went kayaking.
One weekend, we took a 6-hour coach journey to Livingstone where we visited Victoria Falls, bungee jumped off the Victoria Falls bridge and swam in Angel's Pool at the top of the falls.
We also headed across the border to Botswana to do a safari in Chobe National Park. It was amazing to see animals such as elephants, giraffes and hippos in their natural habitat. Definitely a highlight of the trip.
I would recommend this trip to anyone thinking about it. I was nervous to travel alone but I have no regrets.
I will definitely be considering Work the World for future trips!