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For my second quarter, I went to Levuka – widely known as the Old Capital of Fiji – for my duty travel. It was the best decision I have ever made as there is no denying Levuka’s visual appeal. It’s one of the few places in the South Pacific that has retained its heritage sites and national heritage buildings although many were damaged by Cyclone Winston in 2016. Nevertheless, it is a super friendly place to be and everyone is very welcoming to visitors. It didn’t feel like my first visit as in just two days I had nearly met the entire town.
When I arrived at Bureta airstrip, I saw Ministry of Health driver Ratu eagerly waiting for me at the arrivals corner with a wide smile on his face. Ratu mentioned he was expecting to pick up someone with grey hair and thick eyeglasses, and after collecting my luggage, we took off to Levuka hospital.
Once we arrived at the Levuka hospital, I was warmly received by the Sub-divisional Medical Officer Dr Charlie and Administrative assistant Loraini (focal point). They escorted me to the POLHN centre which was established in December 2016 and consists of 3 computers, a printer and a projector. POLHN centre is well maintained by Loraini, our POLHN focal point, who mentioned that health workers utilize this centre a lot and it’s good to see enthusiastic health workers.
A successful PowerPoint presentation training was conducted over two days during which I briefly explained how to apply and enrol for self-paced and sponsored POLHN courses.
Before boarding my flight back home, I managed to visit some of the health centres and famous sites around Levuka. I went to see the Museum, the Deed of cession, the Sacred Heart Church which dates 1858, and the wrecked ship Sinu-I-Wasa Tolu which was washed to shore by Winton. I also walked up the 199 Steps of Mission Hill!
Wednesday afternoon, I left Levuka after saying some really sad goodbyes to the health workers who, in such a short span of time, have become my friends.
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