Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Elective 25. A circumcision

Today starts off with the usual morning meeting, where the fact the hospital hospital cannot afford to re-stock its supplies is discussed, before the meeting is interrupted by Dr Bike and Eggs, irate that they have not been paid for the last three months. Other than the mornings financial debates over what the hospital should spend money it does not have on (salaries, water or medication), I assisted in a circumcision today and enjoyed some beers with Dr Bike, his brother whose wedding I attended a few days ago, and the lucky wife.
The circumcision I assisted in took place on a 15yo boy who needed to be circumcised as a wife had been found for him, and in his village, you could nor get married unless you were circumcised.  Sometimes life here seems so alien to my life back home. I find myself standing next to a small, young boy, while his penis is injected with lignocaine as an anaesthetic. He is clearly scared about this procedure, but does not flinch away.  He then watches as his forskin is cleaned, picked up by two pain of forceps and then cut down the length with a pair of (thankfully sharp) theatre scissors. He seems more curious about the butchery that is being inflicted to his sensation-less penis than worried, As the forshin is removed part by part. Stitches are then  haphazardly put in to slow the bleeding. He is certainly braver than l would be in that position. The boy walks out of theatre an hour after the procedure started, with three days worth of paracetamol for pain relief, looking forward to his upcoming marrige. I hope it is not too soon for him to heal.

The village pump is working nicely now, but demand for the water is still far too great, running it dry in the hours of the morning, and forming large queues

Friday word rounds aside, and the fainting school girl in outpatients (whenever scared I.e. when the teacher comes into the classroom with cane) which I could only think of vasovagal syncope for (thank you scrubs for teaching me that) I have some beers with Dr Bike and the newlyweds. Smartie does not join us, as she does not drink beer, and feels it would be rude to turn down a drink if placed in her hand. I think she is right, it might be seen as rude. Tanzanians are (as I have said before) very hospitable people generally. Dr Bike and newlyweds would not let me bring anything at all, and instead insisted on providing me with drinks for the impromptu party. his brother has a 'cool' hand shake, flicking your middle finger at the end with his. Very cool. We sat around at the back of Dr Bike's house, with a view across the vastness of the rift valley, gently serenaded by the squawking coming from the large pens where Eggs keeps more than 200 Chickens. Enough to sell here, in the nearby town and even export than to the city about  100km away. He seems to be a regional Supplier. We try and Chat, the newlyweds English is not great and my Swahili is even worse, so we resort to naming words we know in the other language and acting them out (I.e  KuKu = Chicken), meaning my lessons from the Children were not  in vain. Not sure why we were doing this. In retrospect, it would have been more sensible to try and teach our own languages than fumble with the other's. Perhaps the beer had something to do with it. Dr Bike shook up a coke bottle and opened it, Champagne-like, in celebration as the newly weds left to go home. I was not allowed to leave without taking a few beers with me (their excuse being that after a few you feel you want a few more. So here they are) on the premise that I gave the empty bottles back. It seems, bizarrely, that the nicer people here are to me, the more I miss home. Tanzania is amazing, but there really is no place like home. 

No comments:

Post a Comment