Another day, another dollar. . . spent! Today was a pretty awesome day. We woke up and went to Libuyu, a community just north east of Livingstone. This is a new area for Elle and I, so it was pretty cool. We brought along a new intern, Sophie, so it was fun to see her light up when all he kids came running up. We got some fun pictures with a small group that was swarming us. As far as our visits go, we didn’t really have anything too exciting. Libuyu seems pretty well off. Anybody who needs medication can get it pretty easily from the nearby clinic, and everyone lives in pretty decent homes. The homes would be pitiful in American standards, but here, they are very nice. At least they aren’t mud and straw huts.
Of the people we stopped by on, only about half of them were there. Apparently, the people didn’t really know that we were coming, because volunteers don’t go there very often. Libuyu isn’t as big of a priority, but we did see about 6 people. Most of the people were complaining of back pain from lifting with their backs and headaches from not enough water. But we did have one exciting patient. Back in 2010, one women stepped off he porch awkwardly, and shattered her right tibia and probably the fibula too. She had to travel up to Lusaka to have surgery (they implanted a rod), but it still looks pretty bad. The ankle is still at the wrong angle. It was interesting, though, because about half way through our meeting with her, the caregiver tried to whisper something to us, but we didn’t understand. Afterwards, the caregiver told us that she has AIDS. Because HIV/AIDS carries such a stigma here, we couldn’t even discuss it with her when it was only us and her. In fact, whenever we have a patient that carries the disease, we can’t ask if they are taking their ARD’s or ARV’s, rather we can only ask if they are taking their medications. It’s crazy.
After we got back and had lunch, a retired member of the board (he was the president of the board at one point) of nutrition for Zambia came and visited all the medical interns. We are preparing to make workshops for different medical purposes, so we are going to be meeting with local professionals this week to get their opinion on different issues. It was a really good meeting. We discussed nutrition, malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, etc. It was a really good meeting. We gathered a lot of good ideas of things we can discuss with people, and we got a better idea of the circumstances a lot of the people here are living in. I think the most interesting thing we talked about, was how few people plan for the future. Whenever they make a good amount of money, some people put a little to the side for food and the house, then they go out and party with the rest. I also found it interesting, that the only way to change the way people do things here, is to teach those who are about to get married, and really emphasize what we are teaching to the men. Unfortunately, the women are still not a big voice in decision making in Zambia’s society. In fact, women are not really valued at all. It’s a sad truth, but we can still use that knowledge to help spark some changes.
Later that evening, we went to the market with our friend, Audrey. It was originally supposed to be Elle, Audrey and I. . . but then one person found out where we were going and POOF! We suddenly had 20 of the volunteers wanting to go. Fortunately, we were going to be late for dinner, so only 8 people decided it was worth it. It was still crazy. Thankfully, we didn’t lose anybody. We went to Maramba market and had some custom clothing made. We selected fabric from one of the stores, then we took it to a tailor to have our stuff made. It was really fun, and I’m really excited to see how it turns out on Saturday.
Well, we’re off on another day! Till next time.