Saturday, June 21, 2008


Just had the most RANDOM memory. Last year, when I was Darfur, we were doing a team meeting when one of my community mobilizers, a wonderful teeny tiny little woman, just collapsed in to, I kid you not, a coma. We had been joking 10 minutes before, and then, all of a sudden, she's out.

Chaos ensued, needless to say, we hefted her in to the back of a Land Cruiser and rushed down to the hospital.

Checking her in was a process in and of itself, which we won't go in to. But, the rest of the day was spent reading policy documents sitting on a plastic covered mattress next to her and trying to convince nurses to take her blood pressure.

Whilst I was sitting there, there was a huge commotion outside. An unconcious woman was brought in, siezing, while a group of older woman followed behind screaming, shaking their arms at her. Immediately, the doctors shoved rubber tubing down her throat, which woke her up a bit, I'd say, and shot a charcoal solution down the tube causing her to, of course, throw up suddenly and everywhere (a theme this evening).

The story, apparently was that this young girl who was, I'd guess, no more than 15 or so, had been recently married and, one would assume, it wasn't working out too well for her. So she'd swallowed an entire bottle of cleaning fluid.

Her mother-in-law had brought her in, along with a selection of aunts and cousins and such, but they weren't exactly crying tears of remorse. More like throwing fits of rage.

By the end of the day, the poor girl was awake. Seriously, never have I seen such an unhappy person in my life. She lay there, on the hot, sticky plastic mattress, on her side, curled up in the fetal position, staring blankly in the middle distance while five different women screamed at her in different volume and tone levels.

God knows what it was like before and god really knows what it is like now.

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