Dear Interested Friends,
Our trip is rapidly reaching completion and I wanted to share a few more tidbits before we fly off to Dar es Salaam for our final day in the oven!
We made a revealing trip to the new CTC, care and treatment clinic. Dr. Maganga and Health Officer "Dr." Neanga were working full out.. Everyone is thrilled with the new clinic and it just awaits the CD4 machine. It is a blue and white building. Inside it is as if you walk into a "T". The top of the is the first waiting room. Benches are provided that resemble church pews. A lonely much used scale is in the middle of the room. Two lab technicians sit in one corner of the room and fish dogeared folders out of two huge dilapidated cardboard cartons. They call out names. Patients(if they are present) step up and collect their folder. If not present the folder is tossed back into the box on the floor. Oncepossessingthe precious folder each patient steps on the scale. Weight is recorded. Then the patient moves on to the stem of the "T". New plastic chairs line this hall on both sides and across the bottom. People play musical chairs, progressing chair by chair all they way down the hall and then up the other side to the door of the examining physician. This is a vast improvement to huge unorganized mob scenes of the past. The all important folders no longer travel from far away Mafinga or not as in Felista's case.The clinic has just opened and a new filing system and shelves to store them are being built. Just the same hundreds of people from wee babes to ancient mzees arrive for treatment. They wait stoically all trying to survive with HIV/Aids. Our healthy hearts ache in this environment. It is so wonderful to know that with the help of Stephen Lewis and our Charity AND all of you the CD4 machine will soon be here !
Now to my own personal minor tribulation. I have been bitten by a red Nairobi fly. This wretched insect injects formic acid when it bites. You should NOT see me !! The acid causes blistering of the skin and I have a red bulls eye for one eye. Other red blistering is on my check and also a large painful patch on my neck. Ouch ! This does not enhance my appearance, already a bit sketchy because of the castrating of the cat experience !!
This morning a live chicken arrived as a squawking gift in our pantry. It had black glistening feathers. We have been eating mainly vegetarian meals at the volunteer house. The chicken was quickly dispatched by Upendo our cook and we are having it for Lunch!!! Anne and I can hardly wait. A partially hardened egg was recovered from the body. Life and death are immediate !
There will be no wine with lunch !
Love you all,