Thursday, January 7, 2010

Crazy people and large goats

Slow day in clinic. Quite a lot of moms but not that many sick babies. Lots of fatty fat fat babies though. Two of which peed on my hands. Also, while the moms were listening to the nurses, one kids who was standing starting peeing ON his mom who didn’t notice for a few seconds.

I’m starting to take charge of the antibiotics and today was my first day on my own. I was nervous I’d forget something. It went well, though. Granted: there were so few kids today but that was a blessing in disguise so I could get comfortable with the meds.

There was also a crazy woman who was hanging around the health center and would just come and stare. She kept talking to me in Chichewa and I would tell her “Paipani, sini mah tah Chechewa, sini kumva!” (I’m sorry, I don’t speak Chichewa, I don’t understand) but she kept chattering away and picked an ant out of my hair. Then she told the driver that she would take me home and teach me Chichewa but told a nurse that she didn’t have a home. She was actually quite sweet if a bit annoying. So often you see very angry crazy people but she was very calm and personable. But then the nurse told me that the community doesn’t really care for the mentally ill and they are frequently raped and abandoned to wander the streets and beg. So very sad. I wish I could have done something for her but I need to remind myself not to take on the problems of the whole world.

On the brighter side, the driver heard me speak a few words of Chichewa to her and told one of the nurses that he didn’t believe that it was my first time in Malawi because I’d already learned so much Chichewa! Largely a joke but it felt good. I’m trying to learn at least a word of Chichewa every day. Today I learned chimbuzzi- which means bathroom or large goat. Clearly a very important word to have in my repertoire.

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