North Walsham nurse home after fleeing riots

A Norfolk nurse who had a dramatic escape from a riot-hit African country was back with her family enjoying a Sunday roast yesterday.

Pippa Jones, 21, from North Walsham was among a trio of UEA students on a final year placement to Malawi who found themselves caught in a nation boiling with violent anti-government protests as they tried to catch their plane home.

As reported earlier, they were helped to the airport by four South African diplomats who gave them a lift in their official car.

Miss Jones said the three - who also included Adrian Quinn from Bawburgh and Ciaran Scott from Drayton – had enjoyed working in Africa where they observed work in a rural community hospital, and had not really been aware of the problems brewing in the bigger cities.

'We did not have access to TV and only heard bits on the radio - but the UEA were great and sent warnings and advice through e-mails which we picked up when we occasionally found internet connections,' she explained.

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'The tensest bit was the 30 minute drive to the airport. We saw people wearing the red protest colours,' said the former North Walsham High School and Paston College student.

She realised her parents Leigh and Sue were worried back home in Bradfield Road after hearing the skirmishes had resulted in 18 deaths during the week and were initially concerned about the authenticity of the diplomats.

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Pippa said her priority on returning home was enjoying 'some family time and a roast dinner.'

But she added: 'I would go back to Malawi tomorrow. The people were so welcoming.'

Her trip there saw her helping with malaria vaccinations and baby births which had inspired her to do a midwifery course after her next job in a burns unit in Chelmsford.

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