Thursday, 10 November 2011

Elective 26. Skipping

Today is a very lazy day, which I spent playing skipping with kids, reading my new read, Hotel Honolulu and on the squatty with some nasty Tanzanian diarrhoea (I am sure you didn't need to know that, but medical students are often for too open about their bowels.)

Much of today was spent reading Hotel Honolulu, and feeling thankful that Smartie bought a large number of books with her. I did notice the Urologist took one away with him though (a very girly chick-lit book, of all things), but hopefully I will be kept so busy that I will have no need for books soon (yeah, right). Hotel Honolulu is a little like The Canterbury Tales, set in a hotel in Hawaii. This hotel seems a lot busier than Tanzania at the weekends, though a rest is nice every now and then.

A Couple of kids came up, as they often do while I am reading, asking for a "Polizo" (this is what it sounds like, no idea how it is spelt, but though mime, it means balloon). We only have a few of these left, so Smartie and I sit down and do some colouring with them instead. As expected, when they leave, paper in hand, other kids in the village see them wandering around, and work out that the mzungu are operating some kind of amusement event, so all turn up or our house. I have a lot of respect for those who run nurseries, managing to think up ways to keep kids amused day after day. Even on the occasional times they visit is, it is hard coming up with original ideas for a game, though the fact we cannot communicate with the kids made it almost impossible to do anything at all complicated. We settled on playing with a couple of skipping ropes we found in a  cupboard in the house (no doubt left behind by a previous mzungu), to squeals of delight from the Children. There is Kev, the hyperactive kid, who loved the limbo game we then moved onto, skidding on his knees under the limbo rope on the dusty ground in front of our house that I have been removing razor blades and needles from throughout my time here. I have no idea where they keep coming from, but as rubbish disposal revolves around burning things, I can see why they don't go anywhere. I just keep putting them into the squatty - hopefully safe in there, unless someone falls in. God forbid. Back to the kids, as well as Kev, there is also Bertha, who Seemed to be on some kind of spectrum, and cannot play with the other kids or understand any of the games. But she laughs and jumps and enjoys herself anyway. Kids don't need money to have fun. I did find Kev chewing a syringe today, though, which he found on the ground. I couldn't find the needle, and hope it didn't come with one. The amount of sharp metal objects dotted around is a scary thought, seeing as the children rarely wear shoes. I certainly make sure my feet are always covered!

Skipping games change to limbo games, then jumping games. There are only so many things you can do with a length of rope!

In more self pitying news, I have developed diarrhoea and lower abdominal pain. More than sign enough for the doctors here to put me on metronidazole and/or co-trimoxazole. I don't really feel the need, so will keep quiet about my problem, unless it seems to need some kind of medication (i.e. starts becoming bloody). The worst thing about this, though, is needing to go into the squatty (outside toilet) at night. As I mentioned earlier, there is a bat in here. I have not mentioned it much recently, as I tend to avoid the toilet at night, instead waiting until the morning. The problem now, is that when my bowels decide they need to go, there is not much I can do about it. Once you go into the toilet at night, this bat goes bat-sh*t crazy. I suppose he is annoyed at someone invading his toilet-cave. I personally think he should be out feeding at night, but he won't listen to me. Perhaps all of this is a little presumptions of me, to be assuming that he is a he. This is, of course, because of his territorial and aggressive behavior, but of course this could be sexist, so let me (imaginatively)  call "it" Batty. Because it is. Back to the point. 

The kids bring me a present of some watery concoction today. It looks far too much like diarrhoea for me to go near it...

Normally, If I do need to, I have no problem going briefly to the squatty at night, for a quick wee. I know the feral girls didn't, hence the need to create She-wees. Last night I found out that any prolonged time in the squatty, say more than thirty seconds, means Batty really flips out. Instead of the panicked flutter in and out of the toilet (the toilet door has a foot wide gap at the top of the door) and beating around your body, Batty starts dive bombing your head and genitals. Not pleasant when you are trying to squat upright in the dark (I had turned my torch off in the hope if would seem less invasive and calm batty down. It didn't work). As if this was not enough, Batty then fluttered down, between my legs, into the squatty hole. Now this is a newish toilet, and the large space could fit perhaps a dozen people standing up, hugging each other (though I don't know why they would do that in a squatty.) Batty, however, does not care, and sees this as a new avenue of attack. (S)he is gone for perhaps ten seconds, just enough time for me to start feeling safe again and for my bowels to relax, before (S)he flutters right back up again, narrowly avoiding my posterior, dives at my head a couple of times, them back into the hole. I am petrified. My bottom is pretty hard to control at the moment. What if something lands on Batty, down in the darkness below? What if this angers the bat? What if the bat bites me 'down there"? Batty seems pretty crazy, what if (s)he has rabies? I don't want a rabies-bum. Thankfully, I escaped intact last night. I now see why the girls, who had to squat down to go to the toilet, wanted to avoid the squatty at night. Somewhere between being a drama queen and emptying my bowels yesterday, I have developed a respect for that squatty and its resident. I hope tonight I don't have to choose between using the newly-respected-squatty and my bed sheets...

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