Full day at the clinic

Trip Start Jun 15, 2013
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15
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Trip End Jul 17, 2013


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Flag of Namibia  , Omaheke,
Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Was ready and at the clinic a little after 8. I should mention that the house is located right next door to the clinic and both are enclosed in the same fence, so going to "work" consists of walking across the sand yard.

Dr. Tamzin (the doctor with a year contract at the care clinic) gave me a more official tour than I had received with dr. Tim yesterday. I sat in the consultation room with Zoe (an English girl who is in her final year of medical school) and a San man named Jacob. Jacob had multiple sores on his feet since he rarely wears shoes. He informed us they hurt quite badly at night. We gave him a bucket of water with some form if cleanser in it. I watched him quickly put his feet in and begin scrubbing. Although Zoe was ready to begin covering the sores, we both let him scrub his feet and legs for a good five to ten minutes. Within the first few seconds, the water was filthy. We then dried his feet,  put some kind of cream on each sore, and bandaged them. We gave him the substance to wash his feet with once daily and gave him medication to take at night for the pain.

I then began some office work. Dr Tamzin was delighted to know that I was confident I could install the new printer Dr. Tim brought to the clinic. So I got busy with that. Apparently the employees aren't very technical.

Headed out with Zoe to the San village. Magdalena came with us and translated. Zoe has been working on research where she interviews San woman about their childbirth experiences. The state clinic just up the road from the Lifeline Clinic does deliveries for extremely low prices (if not free). The clinic is run by Hereros (the people forcing the San out of Pos 3), so it's questionable as to how the San are treated when they go to the clinic. All of the woman, three of them, that we interviewed today said they had their children at the clinic and that all experiences were pleasant. Every single one was informed that they needed to be cut as the baby was too big and the procedure was followed through. When other woman who had babies at home were interviewed, they never expressed any recollection of tearing, which indicates that the procedure might not actually be necessary, and this raises a bit of concern and frustration. The endeavor took about an hour and was quite interesting. I've learned that giggling is a universal sign of discomfort and a response to questions that may seem inappropriate to certain individuals (i.e. "Did you bleed excessively during child birth?"). When we were finished, we returned to the clinic.
 
I then went outside and headed over to the house as it was almost lunch time. Last night a San grandmother and ether grandson camped out in the yard in a tent. Dr. Tim was taking them to gobabos hospital to get transported to Windhoek from there. The boy has a severe case of epilepsy and can't control his bladder or bowels. Apparently within the past couple of weeks he has also stopped using his legs all together, which was why the grandmother got more help. While I was on my way to the house, Dr. Tamzin was cleaning the tent out as the boy and grandma had already gone to the hospital. She decided she was just going to burn the bedding that the grandmother had brought with her since they were given new bedding and their bedding was soiled from the boys' inability to control his bodily functions. It's so sad what these people live through every day.

Sebine, Zoe, and I helped sell clothes for $10 Namibian. With the money that we acquired, we will go shopping and buy blankets for the San when we go to Windhoek on Friday.

Magdalena showed me her tattoo that her friend did for her and told me about the process. She asked if my tattoos were done in a similar manner, and I said that I went to someone who does them for a living. She then asked if I would pierce her nose, as she assumed that I had pierced mine myself. I told her that I also went elsewhere for that. She said "ah a VIP shop..." She's quite a charming girl. She's 18, although, as all San do, she looks much younger. She informed me today after our discussion with the women in Por 3 that she does not want to have children. I asked why, and she told me because of the pain. She also told me that she wants to go to a doctor to have her eggs removed. She said that doctors tell women who have only have four kids no to the procedure but women who have had ten kids they tell yes. I wonder how she has heard of such things.

Sebine and I wandered around town a bit. I wanted to go buy some biltong (jerky) at the meat store, but it was closed. We headed up to one of the San villages and I was able to purchase a necklace from one of the woman (Martha's friend). It cost $50 Namibian ($5 USD) and is made of ostrich egg. It's incredible. 

I helped Sebine cook today. We made orange and garlic roasted chicken, potatoes, a salad, and chocolate brownie cake (all from scratch!). Sebine was kind enough to give me the recipes, and I am incredibly excited to make them for Dorian and me when I get home.

I also began watching The Gods Must Be Crazy, a comedy starring the San, but started falling asleep, so I figured I'd better write this and get to bed. I will have to continue watching at another date.

Speaking of bed, it is definitely that time.

 
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