Last week with the entire group!!
26.07.2010 - 01.08.2010
I started off my week at Marianhill clinic. It is a primary clinic in a rural area near St. Mary's. When we arrived, we met Vusi Ngcobo who is the HIV counselor at the clinic. He deals with patients who are HIV positive or who might be HIV positive. He was very excited to see us and wondered what we could do to help the clinic so when I get back to Seattle, I'll see what is going on in the public health area. After meeting Vusi, I went to join a nurse to see patients. In these rural clinics, there are no doctors on staff during the day. The dermatologist and dentists come once a month. The nurses are the ones who give the patients the medicine or refer them to the hospital. Before we got started, a cockroach fell on me. I screamed, the nurse grabbed her bug spray and we continued on with the day. The patients are also looking for injections when they come to clinic despite their symptoms or what the nurses say. Sometimes, the nurses give them the injections and sometimes they don't. Most of the patients complained of flu like symptoms while others had more severe problems and were referred to the hospital. After work that day we went to the internet, wnet home for dinner and then proceeded to go to our local hole in the wall, Cyberia.
On Tuesday, we went back to Marianhill and we were going to see Sangomas. Sangomas are traditional healers or "witch doctors". The first one was a man from Malawi who practiced magic with his traditional medicine. He said the most of his patients first got their fortune told and then he prescribed a cure for their problems. He performed some magic for us, with Abby as the guinea pig, and produced 50 Rand. In the end, he said that the money was cursed and that she should use it as soon as possible. Once we left, we got soda and some fries, just in case the money was cursed. The second one was a younger woman who practiced Zulu traditional medicine. what was different is that she prayed to her ancestors to see what was the problem with her patients. Both of these Sangomas refer patients who have TB or HIV to the clinics to get referred to hospitals for treatment. The third stop was an orphanage. i played with the kids for about 20 minutes and took some pictures. There were only four of them at the time and the youngest was 2 and the oldest was 6. After that, we left the clinic and went home to get ready for dinner. All 17 of us went out to dinner at a place called Cafe fish on Wilson's Wharf. If anyone every comes to Durban and likes fish, this is the place to go. It was delicious!! After dinner, we went to the BAT center to hang out and then made our way home.
Wednesday was my first day at Malagasy clinic. Like the Marianhill clinic, Malagasy was a rural clinic that was small and only had nurses on staff. What was different from Marianhill is that Malagasy was older and only had one nurse. The clinic essentially was a house that they turned into a clinic. The day was really slow so by 1pm Roy picked us up and then we went to another meeting with our medical coordinator. We all wanted to go out that night to a bar called Joe Cool's. It was on the beach and it seemed nice. So we drove all the way downtown only to discover that it was closed. BOO. instead, we went to another Bar on the beach called Moyo. We all hung out for a while until we got tired and headed home.
Thursday was my last day at the clinic. The day was pretty slow, like the day before. It wasn't until right when we were suppose to leave did it get interesting. We were seeing a patient when we opened the door and saw tow people trying to carry an unconscious woman into the consulting room. Speaking rapidly in Zulu, the nurse decided to lay the woman out in the waiting room where the benches were. There was only some in the waiting room, including the staff. While they were trying to move her, I noticed that she was trying to breath and was drooling. Once she was laid out on the bench, the nurse went over, came back and said that she couldn't find her pulse. Five minutes later, she died. I was shocked!!! It happened so fast that I didn't know what to think. The nurse and other staff (which is only two people) tried to call the morgue but they wouldn't pick up. I also tried to call but they still wouldn't pick up the phone. By the time we left, her body was in the waiting room and the funeral services were on there way. I got home and decided to have some nutella and a nap. It was a tough day. Once I woke up from my nap, I got ready to go out to dinner with everyone. It was our last night out with everyone!!! We went out to dinner on Florida street at a restaurant called Bean Bag Bohemia, also delicious. The topic that was most discussed was the woman who died at the clinic. After dinner, some of us decided to hang out at TacoZulu. We hung out there for a while until we got tired and decided to go home. I had to say goodbye to Amy and Randi who were leaving but I am suppose to see them in Cape Town but we shall see.
Friday was a relaxing day. I got up at 11, went to the beach and hung out with everyone. Later, we all went out to our local establishment, Cyberia, which you have heard of before. Some people got drunk but I just enjoyed seeing everyone and talking. The night few past us and we headed home. I said goodbye to everyone who was leaving the next day. Some people even cried. Saturday I got up early to say goodbye to some more people and get ready for Durban July. Durban July is this huge horse race, kinda like the Kentucky Durby, where everyone dresses up crazy. This year the theme was flowers. I had nothing crazy to wear but I improvised. Nithin, Stella and i went to the race and watched three races and only bet on one. The big race is the one we bet on and my horse placed fourth which is good when it is out of twenty horses. After the big race, we went to Florida road to get some food and wait to meet up with people. Once we ate, we went to the after party and it was bumping. We danced the night away and I am pretty sure that the music blew out one of my eardrums. We didn't get home until 1:30am but it was totally worth it to go to the party of the year!
On Sunday, I woke up late, did nothing, took a nap, did some research, read, ate dinner, internet. That's it in nutshell. Sunday was my nothing day. Nothing exciting. Will try and keep you updated more often so I don't get so behind again.