Gimme a clinic!

TLH and part of the OCA crew.And thus were our days in Zambia filled with helping On Call Africa at their mobile clinics and, almost naturally, with their vehicles that were very short of some fine maintenance that we were able to provide. Needless to say, our own Doutzen was in need of some grooming as well. After all, we’d driven an entire 1000 k’s with her, pushing her limits as we tried to make it to Livingstone on time -and made it. Volunteering as we do, including researching the effects of a certain organization, brings us time and time again to surprising findings and one of those we’d like to share, as it’s very curious and questions the western presence in Africa.
As you know, we try to film as much of our experiences as possible and a good way to endlessly fill up tapes is to conduct interviews, which we did at two of the villages we visited. A couple of white doctors that freely give up their time and abilities for the health care needs of the STI infected rural area that take quite some effort to visit, where they could also deploy their hard earned degrees to make good money making careers, should get some grateful and hearth warming reactions, shouldn’t it?

The crowds, a small part of itMicrophone in hand, your handsome and bearded reporter broadly smiling, translator at hand, ready to go. “Miss, what do you think of On Call Africa?” he asks, “We want a clinic,” is the translated answer. For a moment, your otherwise quick witted adventurer is dumbstruck. “Uhm… What did I ask?” he mumbles to the translator. “What they think of the doctors.” he answers. “Right. So, what does she think of them?” The translator asks again and this time the answer is “There are not enough doctors. And we want a clinic.” This continues however you ask the questions.

“Why did you come here for?” “My child has enormous warts and I’m coughing like a maniac. We were both about to die.” “And what did the doctors do?” “They gave us medicine.” “Does it help?” “Yes.” “What would you do if they weren’t here?” We’d have to walk a long way to the nearest clinic.” “Right, so you’re happy that On Call Africa is here to help you. For free. Just like that.” “Yes. When will you build a clinic?”

“Is there anything you want to say to the doctors of On Call Africa?” your never tiring and charismatic questioner asks to a fairly educated woman, “Yes. We would like to thank the people of America…” “Its Scotland, not every white man is from America.” “Good. So for the doctors we would like America and..” “Scotland! It’s Scotland where they come from, Scotland!” “Oh, okay, sorry. So we would like to thank all the people of Poland for building a clinic here!” “They’re not building a clinic here…” “Well, maybe they should.”

FUN!Three older women see what’s going on around the camera and limp hurriedly towards us. Your hairy but always good looking presenter hardly asked his first question as the started talking furiously to the translator and the camera, eczema infected fingers pointed up. The translator had a hard time to keep up, but was able to explain the essence of this Tonga outburst. Because the doctor’s visits are so popular, they can’t keep up with the demands for their services. Chaotic and violent cues are the sad result. Children pushing older women aside, full grown men pushing children aside, shouting, threatening and utterly sad. To counter this, a rudimentary system is imposed. You come, and you get a number. If you’re number one, you get help before the guy with #2 on his carton, and so on. This helps greatly, but the before mentioned women were to late and had to wait till next month, when On Call Africa comes to visit again. Their anger then, is easily understood, but if we think ahead, couldn’t they’ve left their homes a bit earlier? If we’re helping them to our best extend, why can’t there be any sympathy for that? Why does it always have to be more?

The three women should be angry at the numerous amount of people, especially men, that come in while nothing is wrong with them. Usually a “It’s a bloody small fever, get over it!” suffices, but takes up precious time. It’s incredible how they sometimes pity themselves. See it to believe it. Then again, there was also the boy who fell of a pole, and the pole scraped of the skin of his scrotum in the process. If we think of t, we still cringe, but the boy didn’t blink. Contradictions all around. And you can now watch the first episodes of The fabulous ThreeLeftHands show! Episode 1, Episode 2. Episode 3!

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