After twelve hours journey (including busses, aeroplanes, taxi) we finally arrived to Malta on Sunday and found our way to University Residence in Lija. We were so exhausted that after checking in we simply took couple of hours nap in the middle of afternoon. After refreshing shower we started to wandering around the neighbourhood trying to find the nearest grocery store. It took a while but finally we found it: store so small that it could have been someone’s bathroom. But it was worth it: our lovely dinner consists of pestopasta, tuna and very cheap beer. And believe or not, after that the falling in sleep didn’t took long.
On Monday we woke up early and took the University Residence bus to the University of Malta to meet up with Annhelica Agius, the Erasmus coordinator. With other Erasmus students, we got a lot of different papers to fill up and read. We also got prepaid cards to our phones and they are still not working. But about that more later.
After meeting Annhelica we went to Mater Dei Hospital with couple of Irish students to meet manager of Nursing Department, mr. Martin Camilleri. After couple of hours of conversations and starving we finally got to know our three placements in the hospital: first 3 weeks in the A+ E (accident + emergency) pediatric unit, the next 3 weeks in renal unit and final 5 weeks in the operating theatres. Cool! We are really excited!
The near starvation was ended with strange beef ciabattas at hospital cafeteria. There we learn why here are so many diabetics: one piece of cake or pie were almost size of the half cake. So we guess that Finland isn’t the only one to suffer from diabetes. It was also told us that the renal unit is very big and modern because of so many diabetics in here. So dialysis, here we come.
After our “little” snack we headed to Valletta, the capital of Malta. The centrum of tourism was full of fancy and expensive shops and nice restaurants. It will take more than one afternoon to find out what Valletta has to offer. This time, it offered our first salad meals which we had waited so long after eating so much crap.
Today, on Tuesday, we went to Mater Dei Hospital to start our first practice day at pediatric unit. It took over three hours to actually start to get to know the unit and it’s staff because of our missing uniforms. Nobody had told us that we should bring our own practice uniforms from Finland with us. Here hospital staff buy their uniforms so there aren’t many spare clothes for students. Luckily mr. Camilleri found us some but it took a while.
Staff in the pediatric unit were really great and our mentor, Elaine, has really nice attitude for teaching us. The unit is quite newly renovated and it is full of really beatiful paintings of children cartoon and movie characters made by university students.
We are quite happy now, after lots of things have finally solved out. Can’t wait what the Erasmus orientation and the second day at the pediatric unit will bring us tomorrow. At least, there is going to be our first Erasmus party! 😉
Love, Tiia & Katariina