i know a lot of what i write on here is just a blow-by-blow of what ive been doing, and i dont often write what im actually thinking about the situations i find myself in. obviously being here makes you think a lot and consider things that might not seem important back home.
the past week hasnt been particularly eventful, ive just been at school and the lodge in the usual routine. Shanita, the girl with malaria was back in school yesterday and was looking much better. she tells me she didnt get taken to hospital, she was just 'eating medicine' for the 2 days she was off school, and now she's feeling better. yesterday we did another sports day as it was the last school day before exams start. we did some much better games and things, with completely different stations to last time, which was nice. we had wheelbarrow races, sack races, limbo, egg and spoon race and a frizbee throwing competition. i (predictably)ended up dealing with a few injuries, most of which were minor.
as soon as the kids see someone getting first aid of any kind (i wouldnt put it past them to act the same if they saw someone getting CPR) they all decide that they want it too. so as soon as you put a plaster on one kid, you get like 10 others coming and showing you cuts they've had for weeks and expecting you to put plasters on them. so yesterday i was putting antiseptic and a plaster on a cut knee, and a few other kids came over to gawp and also try their luck at getting plasters too. i told them to all go back and play, and they all did, apart from one, who sat the grinning at me, and gesturing at her leg. i was about to tell her to go and play again, i even told her her leg was fine, and then i looked at it properly. i literally gasped out loud and had to restrain myself from swearing. she had this enormous open wound on her leg, which was full of puss and dirt and grass, and absolutely stank. i got jameel over to look at it, and he was just like 'maybe you clean it and then put a plaster'. i wanted to scream at him. she didnt need a f*cking plaster, she needed stitches when it happened! she didnt get them, and now its been a week, its horribly infected and she needs antibiotics you fool! after cleaning it and dressing it as best i could, i told him (rather more politely than above) that a plaster wasnt really going to cut it, and that she needed antibiotics. it was only after this whole debacle of me cleaning this thing with no gloves (my small supply of those ran out long time ago) that he thought to ask me 'dont you have gloves? its very dangerous to be touching blood without them.' i told him through gritted teeth that no, i didnt have gloves, but im sure its ok, and he then said 'but this one, she has the HIV.' i was just like great, so now she has a hideous infection that is not only unpleasant and painful, but could kill her.
i took her off to the hospital only to find that the ENTIRE staff was in a meeting that wouldnt be finished until 2 hours later,at which point the lab would be closed. this was immensely frustrating, and really did get me asking myself WHY they would do that, when it so obviously doesn't make any sense. anybody coming in with a serious bleed or something would have been completely screwed. in the end we just went to the chemist and bought her some antibiotics, which (hopefully) will do the trick.
last night we went out clubbing at sals again as is traditional on friday nights, which was a good laugh. i was completely exhausted having got up at six to walk up the mountain to see the sunrise (bloody hard work, if you were wondering) and then not going to bed unto 21hours later. James works at the lodge as a general handy man and driver, so he drove us to town. we had negociated that we would pay him 2000 shillings each, and he would drive us all there, and then make 2 trips back at different times when people wanted to leave. James does tend to push it a bit when it comes to making money from the volunteers but there is also a lot bitching abut him that goes on which i think exaggerates the problem. we usually pay him for driving us the next day, and last night was no different, except that early thismorning 5 people went home. he was around and asked them if they would pay their share, and one of the girls evidently turned around and told him to f*uck off, and only one of them paid. when i heard about this iwas really annoyed, i think its increddibly rude and i also think that you have to expect people to try and get as much money as possible out of you, at the end of the day they have next to nothing and compared to them we have everything, if you were in that situation, wouldnt YOU try it on a bit? i think i would! annoyingly it was me that negociated with james to drive us, so its also me that had to collect the money, which means that i will be left to foot the bill for the people who didnt pay. im a bit pissed off with that situation because i feel as though im constantly doing that,, and normally i dont mind, like the other night i spent about 50,000 shillings on ingredients to make dinner for everyone, and when they offered to give me the money i refused, as it was me that wanted to do it, but now im wishing i hadnt.
this post has come off sounding really whingey, but this ismy only outlet for that! i am enjoying everything else about being here, ive just been in quite a reflective mood...