Monday, January 02, 2006

Day 33.



First and foremost Happy New year to all my friends and family! I can not tell you how much I appreciate your comments and email!
Month two for me has started out with maggots, a Greek new year and more long hours in the car along the spine of Zimbabwe.
Let me clarify a bit. On Friday I was at work when a patient complained to me that her arm was very sore in one area. Upon inspection I noticed a small lump that seemed to be solid under the skin. Being a nurse and someone that likes to pick at things I started to push at her arm. At this point I thought to myself, I should get gloves you never know what could come out. After a few painful exclamations from the woman and much prodding a maggot was forced out of her arm. Yeah, the gross things seem to be commonplace now. After talking with a few of the doctors I learned that this is fairly common and it is due to the fact that large flies (the damn flies again) lay eggs in the linens and when people sleep on them they get into their skin. It can be quite painful as was evident to me. The poor woman found it as disgusting as I did and kept exclaiming, ‘It is alive.’ ‘I see it moving.’ I lied and said, ‘No surely it is dead.’ I counseled her to iron her sheets and congratulated myself on the decision to get gloves on.
Friday afternoon three of us headed up the long road to Harare from Bulawayo, which cuts almost a center line through Zimbabwe. The trip was about 6 hours due to some needed shopping at the OK market for food which ended up taking about an hour. Zimbabwe has not adopted the idea of fast checkout or lines for customers with less than 10 objects. Not only are the lines long, but when the bill for a few small items comes to over a million the cashier is left with the task of counting all that money. I think I explained before that the largest bill is $20,000ZD so you can understand that $1,000,000ZD is 50 bills. Patience is a virtue I am learning tenfold. After arriving in Harare Nuria, Berta, Vasillis and I spent some time relaxing and then off to a new years party at some Greek friends of Vasillis. It was very interesting to be part of the white culture of Zimbabwe. Everyone was very nice but it was evident that most whites do not mix with the majority of the population and they are consumed by private schools and private parties. It was nice to spend new years with other people and enjoy their company. Interestingly a Spanish tradition I learned was that at midnight on new years you are supposed to eat 12 grapes in order to ensure good luck in the coming year. One grape each time the church bell rings at midnight, but since there was not a bell in earshot some improvising was required. Good thing I like grapes because basically you are inhaling them.
On the 2nd of Jan we went to park called Doboshava. I will try to put up some of the photos of the walk. It was quite beautiful!

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