August 21, 2010 7:44 AM
Well, guess where I was when I started to think about writing this blog. You guessed it! The Gaborone Airport! What happened? Where did I go in between? Is my trip ruined?
Very good questions…I'm sure the answer will get posted someday. But look at you trying to distract me from catching up on the blog…
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday night Vincent had messaged me saying that he hadn't seen me at Mass and that he hoped I could make it to Mass Thursday since it was the day that our Lord instituted the Most Blessed Sacrament. I texted him back saying that I'd make it either to morning or evening Mass…
So the morning didn't happen. My alarm went off, I was super sleepy as always, it was dark outside, and I quickly reset my alarm. As it went off again I heard the sound of the housekeeping lady creaking the screen door open, unlocking the door, setting the alarm off temporarily, and then disarming it. Time to get up! I got dressed and said a quick hello to her and headed out the door, hoping that I'd get some laundry taken care of while she happened to be there. You see, I'm not sure how to indicate that my clothes are in fact dirty. I've left them on the floor, nothing happened. I put them in a basket, nothing happened. This time, I tried the basket again, perfectly happy to do my own laundry if she wasn't able to/didn't have the time/didn't want to. I'm sure she's not paid enough anyway.
Thursday's day at the clinic was a bit trying at first. I worked with Dr. Brianna, and the first few patients we saw were just not the best. They had social issues, didn't want to take their meds, etc. Worst of all, a kid who had perfect pill counts, and came in by himself without a parent, had a detectable viral load, which shouldn't be possible given the meds he is on. Eventually, through a translator, Dr. Brianna was able to get him to admit that in fact sometimes he forgot to take his meds, and that when he did his mother, rather than telling him to try to do better, told him he should throw his pills away! Goodness people. It just goes to show that there is more to medicine than just developing treatments and handing out pills.
However, the day finished strong, with one poor child who had HIV, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and thus severe malnutrition. However, she was doing better and was sweet as could be. Madeline, along with one of our last patients, Junior, made the day, and Dr. Brianna and I agreed that we'd rather have the problem kids first and the sweeties last. With that, my third week at the clinic was complete, and I was ready to get things set for the weekend (Ha!).
After running home for some leftover Pasta a la Gaborone (one of these days I'll think to bring lunch with me, but it's only a five minute walk, so it kinda breaks up the day anyway), I returned to the clinic, bought some cell phone air time, and set to work trying to arrange things. I called the two places I was staying, confirmed, and ultimately decided it would be best to just meet with the travel people who arranged the drives and such once I arrived in Kasane.
Somewhere that afternoon, however, one of the PAC doctors informed me that the docs and the other clinic workers were meeting for "Challenge" clinic, where they discussed patients who were particularly difficult and basically had a pow-wow of everyone involved (psychology, social work, nursing, docs) to see what could be done for them. It was actually pretty interesting, and I was happy to have stumbled upon it. I suppose that happens when you spend the entirety of the afternoon sitting in the clinic using the free internet.
By the time challenge clinic and the necessary phone calls were made, it was about 20 after five…and I had missed the evening Mass too. I did not think Vincent would be very pleased, but I really couldn't help it as I had to make the phone calls before all of the businesses closed for the day. My flight on Friday was to leave at 11 AM and I figured I would not have time to call in the morning. I did decide, however, to go home and sit in the back yard to say Evening Prayer, as had become my regular custom for the previous three days.
Speaking of customs, I continued the tradition (anything an Aggie does twice is tradition right?) of having a happy hour beer at the Sun. However, this time, when I arrived, I saw the bartender pouring various liquids into a tall pilsner glass with ice. I had my suspicions, but when he topped it off with Coke I knew he was making Long Island Iced Teas…and they looked yummy. So obviously that became my drink, but apparently he was sick of making them because when I asked for it he jokingly said something to the other bartender that I took to mean "These things take forever to make! He should've just ordered it five minutes ago when he was watching me make the others!" However, he was still nice about it and made the tall, yummy drink. And it was a good and proper way to end my 3rd of 4 weeksJ.
While at the Sun, my fellow student and I texted back and forth making plans for the evening, since he had just finished his last day of his month. He told me that he and his friends were at the Riverwalk, so I decided to join them. I texted Tendai to see if he could pick me up, and lo and behold he was right outside the Sun! Further, I got him to agree to take me to Riverwalk for 25 pula rather than 30. I figured it made up for the half hour I waited outside Linga Longa a few nights before. Plus, I only had a 20, a 5, and a couple 200s, and somehow taxi drivers never have change.
Eden and his friends were at Primi Patti, an Italian restaurant at the Mall. We sat at a table inside to eat, with clear bottles of water on shelves in front of various colors of neon lights as décor, I suppose. That's a really poor way of describing it, but that's all I've got right now. Anyway, we ordered our food and talked for a while, and then met a couple more friends of his before deciding to spend some time at his house for the evening rather than going out.
After about a twenty minute ride (no taxi!) we arrived at this house. We basically just sat around and talked, played some cards, and had a drink or two (mine was some of the bottle of wine that I brought and was finally able to open…hooray corkscrews!). It was a rather random group: myself (random enough on my own I'd say), my fellow student who was from Botswana but studies in the Caribbean, a couple volunteers from Ireland, one from Argentina, a friend of his who is from India, and another guy whose origin is unknown to me still. It was a good time, but as one of his friends had a flight to catch at 6:45 in the morning, we called it a night relatively early, and I was able again to get a ride home.
Tired but content, I decided that I could pack my things in the morning. Tendai, who was taking me to the airport, suggested there was no need to get to the airport two hours early. Instead, the plan was an hour early, which meant one hour more to pack, and more time to sleep!
The day ahead was definitely not what I planned, however.