Wayne's Daily Diary Archive

20 June 2007

28 September 2010
Things are looking up in Hammer-land!

The weather is most certainly turning and with it I’ve decided to start getting in shape and prepare myself for the upcoming season. I spent the weekend in London at the annual Body Control Pilates Development Weekend and realized that I’m not in as good a shape as I should and need to be.

The Pilates over the weekend was quite intense and was a real workout followed by an Urban Poling session on Monday. Between the two activities it was a good start to my training programme. (I bumped into Dan and Denise outside the Hampstead Tube Station en-route to my course and had a nice visit with them and a quick tour of their house. Small world!) Today I had my first session back at the gym and combined with Pilates, Urban Poling, and golf I’ll hopefully be fit for the new season.

On the sports front, Hammers fans everywhere will be feeling relieved with West Ham’s performance over the past week starting with an important point against a tough Stoke side, followed by wins against Sunderland and Tottenham. Fingers crossed that it will turn out to be the turning and starting point to West Ham’s season!

7 September 2010
Happy Birthday to me!

I had a lovely birthday yesterday playing golf with my 12-year-old nephew Wils and his pal Nick. The boys are really enjoying their golf and being natural sportsman they’ll turn into great players in the future.

We’re just back a week now from our wonderful holiday and I’d like to share our holiday destination with you as it was absolutely superb. We weren’t sure exactly what to expect after trolling through the various options on the internet and although we were really looking forward to it and had a good feeling about our choice, it was much better than imagined. In fact, it could not have been better!

We chose Le Vieux Monastere, located just outside St Hilaire de Villefranche, in the Charente Maritime. Graham and Christine Dove, who are wonderful hosts, have beautifully renovated an old Monastery and created seven separate villas in an incredibly beautiful setting. And talk about child-friendly! The property is walled-in in the shape of a square with an acre-and-a-half of courtyard, which is perfect for the kids to play cricket, footie, hide-and-seek or whatever else they may come up with. There are swings, a games room, and a beautiful pool as well. During our holiday there were around 16 children there between the ages of 3 and 13, so the girls had a great time running about with their new friends. Because the grounds are walled-in everyone let their children run wild and get on with whatever they chose to occupy themselves with. (All the cars were parked outside the complex adding to a very safe and relaxing atmosphere)

The surrounding area is fantastic with many beautiful little villages and towns, lovely markets, historic buildings and churches, rivers, and brilliant beaches about 50-minutes away. The landscape is relatively flat and with the little roads being very quiet it’s a great place for cycling as well. Graham and Christine have 15-or-so good mountain bikes for rent for those who don’t want to travel with bikes.

Graham happens to be a longer suffering Hammers fan than me, and both he and Christine have a great taste in proper variations of ‘rock’ music, which played in the background during the Sunday night welcoming drinks party and the Wednesday night dinner. They are very caring people and along with Richard and Jordan (Leeds University students working for the summer) our every need was dealt with immediately.

I’d definitely recommend Le Vieux Monastere for anyone with children as it’s a child’s paradise! And it’s far enough south to pretty much guarantee excellent weather. Graham and Caroline aim to please and some of the families we met were visiting for their third-straight summer holiday, which speaks volumes.


3 September 2010
Dr. Sharon's Rwanda appeal

I have just returned from my fourth visit to Rwanda where I have been working at Kirambi Health Centre. You may know, over the last 3 years as part of my sabbatical, I have spent over 3 months working as a doctor in Rwanda and Uganda and have formed very strong links with the people of Kirambi, Rwanda.

During my time there I have seen almost a thousand patients, using the consultation as a teaching tool for the nurses. We have taught the nurses how to professionally develop via weekly in house teaching session with the help of a library we have set up. This visit has been very exciting. I focused my time on helping set up a Family Planning Clinic in the village, teaching the Government funded nurses on how to deliver artificial family panning for the first time to the women of Kirambi. I also ran workshops with the help of a community social worker to post natal and antenatal groups. We have also furnished the family planning clinic and paid for it to be decorated.

Kirambi Health Centre, run by the Medical Missionaries of Mary, looks after a population of 10,000 people who are some of the poorest people in the world, surviving on less than 25p a day with an average life expectancy of 46 years. Malaria is rife and 26 % of the children are malnourished. There is no electricity, no running water, no transport and the nearest hospital is a 4 hour walk. There is a staff of 20 (12 nurses, 8 community workers). The Health Centre runs outpatient, HIV, TB, antenatal and malnutrition clinics. They also run farming, public health and clean water projects. There are beds there for admission of sick patients and a maternity ward. I have been inspired by the amazing work done in the Health Centre. The team never fails to amaze me, what they do with minimal resources is quite astounding. With so few doctors in Rwanda, these nurses provide an extraordinary level of care to their people.

The Health Centre wants to set up a Health Outpost Satellite, 3 hours walk away in Cyahafi. This will allow them to run immunisation, HIV, TB and antenatal clinics. They will also teach the local population simple public health measures – nutrition, disease prevention and hygiene. There will be classes on community building skills. Most importantly the people who attend the health outpost will be sign posted to the new Family Planning Clinic. The Health Outpost will provide basic health services for a very vulnerable population. The MMM have put together a business plan and have funding to provide the staffing and transport to the proposed Health Outpost clinic – they have a plot of land but they do not have a building! The building will cost £8728. It will have a class room, 2 consultation rooms and 2 pit latrines. The on going running cost and maintenance will be minimal. With quite modest funding this project will make a huge difference.

Now this is where you come in – I and two other friends are walking the Coast to Coast walk. We hope you might consider sponsoring us? This is a 190 mile walk over 12 days from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay. I know that 100% of your money will be spent on the project and if we are lucky enough to raise more than our target we have a list of other worthwhile projects at the Centre.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope I can interest you in this small but life transforming project.

I know how generous you are and understand if you feel you want to donate to your hard earned money elsewhere – however if you feel you want to help me in this project you can go to the justgiving website
Best wishes Sharon Mitchell

2 September 2010
Just back from holidays!

The girls and I have just returned from a fantastic ten-days in the Charente-Maritime, where we stayed at Le Vieux Monastere. It was a stunning place and was brilliantly hosted by Graham and Christine Dove. I’ll write a report over the next few days as it’s a wonderful place and perfect for people with small children.

Congratulations to Henry and Ginnie on their wedding, which took place last weekend in Cornwall. It was a grand affair and when I get some details from best-man Andreas I’ll post those as well.

Sharon Mitchell, (also known as Doctor Bennett) has returned from her annual volunteer trip to Rwanda where she is helping to build a new medical facility. Chris will be posting a link for those who want to contribute to her charity in the next few days. Well done Sharon!

If you know your dates please get in touch to help avoid confusion, especially around the Christmas/New Year period.

Stay tuned for further updates soon!

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