Girls’ dormitory overcrowded

12 February 2007

Hello hello,

Again an update from this time sunny and hot but delicious Africa. Some rest and time for myself behind the computer. I am busy from early in the morning till late in the evening and then it is sometimes nice not to have any blooming kids behind you. School has started again and that is noticeable. first of all there are so many new children that we don’t have enough space to accommodate them. There are not enough beds and the girls’ dormitory is exploding so many girls are sleeping in it. My boys are sleeping on the floor because there are not enough beds and there is just not enough money to buy all these things at once.
This trimester I have about 40 naughty boys who drove me to madness the first few days. Really these boys get the blood under your nails and sometimes I really want to sell them a delicious thump. But then they smile at me and my heart melts….
Two new volunteers have arrived, Sam and Karen both from New Zealand. I get along very well with Karen and she thinks Frank is such a special little boy that she has offered to pay the other half of his school and expenses. So we now have a cosy co-parenting relationship. In the evening we have a nice beer and make plans for a backpacker’s and a coffee shop in New Zealand (nice and far away!) Karen is also well organised and tidy so that’s good timing. Fertilised the office last week but are still not ready. It’s unbelievable how much junk they keep here. We don’t say anything and just throw all the papers on the pyre (what we don’t know, what doesn’t hurt).

Frank is doing very well. His wounds are healing well and he is a cheerful boy. I bought a school uniform last week. Hoisted Frank in uniform and he went to his first lesson with a big smile. Totally exhausted of course at the end of the day but he loves it. And I think Frank is also quite a naughty boy so we have to keep him in line and not spoil him too much (which I do). Yesterday we had disco (you know with those mega speakers) at school. Frank totally freaked out. Dancing like a penguin with those arms (nice and thick in the bandage) but had a great time (of course Karen and I shed some tears because we were so proud). He still has a long way to go, but I think he will be fine. I’m trying to get the father under lock and key because this mega jerk doesn’t deserve to walk around freely.
Nowadays Rose and I change Frank twice a week. Finally Rose and I can perform our great sister talents. We always joke that we are very good sisters and if someone has a pain we kindly ask this patient to lie down on the dining table so we can help him with our knives and forks (sometimes also spoons). We have several other instruments like a hammer (for the anaesthetic) and a screwdriver (to screw broken bones back together again) and not to forget needle and thread for the stitches (thank you everyone who sent a sewing kit, it is well used!).
For Frank I conjure up my little room in a doctor’s room and we stand there playing with our sterile little glove nurse. Then I am in my element. Rose is the head nurse who does all the cleaning and pus work. And I prepare all the gauzes, ointments and plasters. Whole undertaking of course and the youngster is in so much pain that he screams the whole school together for 2 hours. Everybody is very curious about what is happening but fortunately we have Ryon who we put in front of the door as our bodyguard with a stick to scare away all the children who want to secretly watch what is happening. He then yells “I’m going to eat you” and the children run away scared but smiling. It’s a lot of work but Frank’s body is really healing and when you see him walking on the school grounds with a big smile it gives me a lot of satisfaction…..

Everything is fine with baby Babirie as well. This week I saw a picture of her with her twin sister. I can’t understand why the other little one has died. How can you not love such a cute, sweet little baby? Anyway twins here are very special and if you don’t treat them well they can curse you. They all need to perform special rituals with herbs and spells otherwise anything and everything can happen. I think we are all going to find out soon.

I am still a regular customer in the hospital despite the fact that we have now opened our own practice. This week a little boy came in with literally holes in his body. Sometimes you have a hole in your jumper under your arm…He literally had such a hole in his skin. Idiotic and terrible to see. You look inside his little body like that. Had big holes in his head and on his belly and leg. And stink that it did. Turned out to be tuberculosis and he is also HIV positive. Darling of a little boy, Pinto is his name. Pinto was brought by his grandmother who takes care of 20 other orphans, really dramatic! Sweetheart died of the pain but got through the cleaning and he is doing well now. Poor grandmother zero money so I’m shopping at the second hand market again. I bought some stew so they can eat and some sheets and food. Was very impressed and now I visit him regularly to bring some goodies and to see how he is doing……

Luckily I haven’t been ill yet and haven’t met a nice African with rounded negro buttocks…. Oh yes and as of today I am the new coordinator of the school. So I have to mail all the new volunteers and tell them everything about the school. It’s a lot of work and I’m a bit insecure if I can do it but I’m just going to give it a try. Would like to drink a glass of wine but unfortunately I can’t find a nice white wine around here. Always looks good on my CV and I will learn a lot from it (especially in the computer field).
At the moment I sponsor three children. that means that I pay their school fees so they get a good education and have a chance for a better future.
And to move on to the subject of money………It would be great if some of you who read this would sponsor a child. Donations are of course still very welcome. Money is badly needed and because I am here I can also show what is being done with it. Maybe hold a fundraiser at work or sponsor a child with colleagues and/or friends. I promise you that the money will be put to good use and of course I will keep you informed about the wellbeing of the child.

I am also looking for people who have an old laptop and no longer use it. Maybe you can ask around a bit because a laptop would be great. The administration at the school is a drama and an exel wouldn’t be a luxury. In the end we want to work with solar energy (fortunately the sun is shining again), because that is much cheaper than the petrol-drinking generator which is more broken than it works and of course better for the environment.

Yes, I think that was it. Bit boring this time, isn’t it? Will be looking for some more adventure so that next time you will be on the edge of your seat of excitement. Finally sunshine again so I can bare my legs and get a tan while watching all the delicious, brown nigger legs of my boys when they have to take a bath. Getting stung by mosquitoes and my toes are the target of jigger flies laying eggs everywhere. Big toe is half barren due to huge blister+inflammation+ mosquito bite on the same spot…but fortunately can perform the amputation itself (saves on costs). Still love it here and enjoy taking care of the children.
I send everyone a big kiss and lots of love. Keep sending cards and letters because it’s always exciting what I find at the post office!