Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ridin' dirty


We frequently end our days by taking a mother to the hospital on the way home.  We take them if they need prodding to get staging for ARVs (for HIV), medical concerns that we can't deal with or if the child won't eat Chiponde and need a feeding tube. The hospitals in Malawi are so depressing, however, that we try to avoid sending anyone to the hospital if at all possible. But I digress. The best thing is that we ride in the trunk and let the mom sit in the cab of the car. We call this, of course, riding dirty. Depending on what car you're in, what driver is driving and what road you are on, riding dirty leaves you with varying degrees of butt bruising.

This never fails to horrify the nurses, mothers, HSAs etc. "You are sitting in the back?! Why? No!" They say this everytime. And every time we sit in the back.

I also love the looks we get when driving down the dirt road whilst in the trunk. Triple takes. Crowds of children chasing us. Bicycles veering off of the road. And this is the internal monologue I imagine for most everyone we see:

"Look Yamikani! Did you see that?! An azungu! In the trunk! Perhaps they are holding them hostage. Best to smile and wave."

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