Tuesday, April 6, 2010


 Man with a plan

HSAs hard at work. This picture was posed. Before I took it- three of these guys were sitting down and eating sugar cane.

This is Chikonde, a Tuesday site and one of our biggest and busiest clinics- Lacey and I always leave exhausted. One of the charming/annoying things about Chikonde is the nearby school which feeds us a constant supply of school aged children who want to watch the goings-on, yell “give me [pen, money, Chiponde etc]” or repeat everything we say in Chichewa and laugh hysterically. No matter what we do, we are surrounded by a crowd of staring children. It’s very much like being in a zoo. You might say “hello!” or “bobo” (like whats up in Chichewa) and they will shriek with laughter and repeat what you said like you’ve told the best joke ever.

Here are some kiddos helping pack up the empty bottles and carry desks (which we use to do heights and weights) at the end of clinic in hopes of scoring an empty carton. This picture was taken before they noticed the camera:

Here they have caught on to the camera:
Here I told them to act naturally!!! so they threw up the power fist. Which is exactly what I do when I’m acting natural.

Here is Mr. Liwonde, the head HSA for Chikonde. Always a trendsetter: he wears a mini backpack on his front:
His main function seems to be to chase the school kids with a stick. Today I was trying to be constructive and told him that a) I think that is makes it a game for the kids and makes the problem worse b) We don’t allow physical violence at Chiponde clinic and c) it was OK if they watched as long as they didn’t take anything.

So after my anti-violence lecture he gave a long speech to the kiddles in Chichewa and I heard the word “atupa” which means swollen (we say it to ask if the feet of the babies are swelling). “What are you telling them?” I asked. “I am telling them that they have a choice. They can go back to school or they can stay here and I will beat them until they are swollen.”

Uhhhhhh. Guess my anti-violence talk didn’t translate well. None of the kids seemed the least bit perturbed, however (even the ones that he chases come right back as if this were the best game ever) , laughed hysterically when he was talking, and continued to wreak havoc until we left (with them chasing the car of course).

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