Monday, January 11, 2010

Life in Zimbabwe




Some days it is not hard to know I am in Africa. Today I spent the whole day starting AIDS patients on ART (drugs to treat it). When doing a history on one of the patient’s they named their 6 children:
#1—Pride
#2-Perserverance
#3 - Purposes
#4-Prejudice
#5-Polite
#6-Pretend
Where else but Zimbabwe can you get such wonderful names?
Then on my way to the Lab a patient stopped me and needed her VD taken. When I said VD—she said yes VD and when I looked at her card she was a hypertension patient and I figured out she meant Bp!
As I keep the office doors open where I am counseling and the open to our outside courtyard, a chicken wandered in today. Not something you normally notice in a hospital in the US—I wonder if they are JACHO approved. Then I went to the outpatient department and saw a person sitting with his chicken in his hands—to pay for any drugs ordered and another one had left a pig tied outside for the same reason and we could hear it squealing throughout the hospital! Does he realize he will be dinner tomorrow for the patients?
This week we have had a lot of rain and the rivers are full, the fields are wet and the maize is growing! Everyone is certainly in a happy mood! Hope your week has been as good!
Yesterday (Sunday) I went out with Major and group of 7 young adults to Jinga church—only about 15 kms away but about a 70 minute very bumpy ride away. The kids sang all the way there with a drum. We waved to all the people on the way who were so happy to see us and were busy working in their fields—weeding! When there are good rains and people are able to see good crops growing they are so happy! We got to the church and waited. Within an hour we started and we had over 70 there by the time we were done. The chicken that was running around the church when we arrived quickly ended up in a pot and they served us sadza and chicken before we left for home. The kids sang again all the way back. What a fun time we all had. It makes me so happy to go out away from the hospital and really visit and see the people. So many have had babies here and are happy to show me how big they are now!
This week GOAL, an Irish aid organization, was in our area giving out soap for washing hands to prevent cholera. All the people in our area including our staff got 4 long bars of green soap. Sunday’s offering had several bars of soap in it! They gave them to us to use in the hospital.
This weekend the electricity went out at 5 on Saturday evening and came back at 11:30 p.m. and last night it went off at 7 p.m. during our Sunday evening service at the hospital and came back at 11:40 p.m. It was off by 7:30 a.m. Seems they are having more power cuts because they are “working” on fixing the system!
Major left at 4:30 a.m. today to take the kids to school. Carlton (Monica’s son) was dropped at the bus to go to Mashoko and start Form 6 tomorrow. Carolyn and Michael (Major’s kids) were dropped in Harare at grandma’s to start tomorrow. Carolyn is beginning high school—Form 1 and was so excited! Michael is in Form 4 and will be writing exams the end of this year. Carolyn was so excited she came fully dressed in her uniform last week to show me! I hope her enthusiasm continues throughout the school year! Michael told me recently he was the only person in his class that had actually seen a donkey in real life! I guess all of his classmates are city folks and don’t get to the rural areas!
Enjoy your week—who knows what God will bring this week!

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