Sunday, 13 July 2008
first week in kabwe
Well here I am back in Kabwe and my first week that feels more like a month. After a hectic dash through JObrg to catch my flight to Zambia. I made it at the skin of my teeth checking in and the legging it to the flight. The check in man very unimpressed with my sweet talk, informed me that my bag may not making it to Zambia and he was right. After we landed in Lusaka I was the last in the queue for immigration so by the time I got through Ithe bags had come through and no sign of my rucksack. So I went to fill out my forms and was told they would bring my bags to Kabwe. Four days later and lots of phone calls my bags finally arrived minus the gin I had stuffed in my sleeping bag. When Mary picked me up she said you are traveling very light for a girl here for one year. We then took the road back to Kabwe, it felt normal to back in the sun and madness of Zambia. Where the driving is just as mad as before the smells and sounds felt familiar. Just like when I first arrived back to Ireland the last time the deo and perfume hit me this time the natural body smells hit me, I am used to it now. I stayed at Marys that night and then the next morning I started my early mornings and went into the hospice. It was great seeing all my old friends. Everyone remembered who I was and after two years it amazing how many faces I remember around Kabwe and how many people remember me. I have been told though that I look older and that I am fatter. Oh the joy to be back in Zambia and being told that I am fat. (I still have to remind myself that it a complement and I just laugh). They all wanted to know where there presents were and I told them it was me. Things in Kabwe are the same mostly though. The big change is that the Big tree in the middle of Kabwe has colourful lights on it at night. I also think it is busier and that there is more cars on the road. Talking of cars I have found my dear taxi man Jack (he was our main taxi man the last time and I named my car in Ireland after him) He is looking for a Musungo wife as me feels that if we say we love him that a musungo women would mean it and stay with him in his words not like the Zambian women. He even said he would be willing to cook for her and would teach her to cook nshima. So if one feels like moving to Zambia I could it so you could set you up. I am not sure his view on western women is correct in all cases or on Zambian I thinks it’s the men that have a problem with having one women only. Even the men who are in love and happy with theirs wives joke about having another women. I know that they probable would not act but it is so acceptable for Zambian men to have a few women and strange when they don’t but totally unacceptable for Zambian women to have more then one partner. Michelle was in Tanzania when I first arrive but she arrived back on Wednesday and we are both in our flat, I am living in the same flat as the last time. The shower is still cold and gives little electrical shocks if touch it so a shampoo bottle is used to turn on and off. There is though a new cooker and not the little two ring stove with a tiny oven part but a proper cooker. It is actually the hospices old one as the hospice now has a big industrial cooker along with a new cook. The kitchen is now always clean and the drama that the old cook brought both good and bad is now not there. The new cook is lovely and she is a good cook. The old chief though had so much character and mostly it was annoying especially his bad singing and his showing off, he was a bit of light entertainment. Well there are many more stories but for now I shall say bye and write again soon. Keep in touch. Love Siobhan
This blog will give you an insight into my life in Kabwe, Zambia as a work as a nurse in the Ranchhod Hospice, caring for patients living with HIV. Mary Chiddgey an Irish nurse 4 years ago founded the Ranchhod Hospice. The facility has 20 beds and cares for Adults and Children living with HIV/AIDS. Four Zambian nurses, care givers, cook, cleaners and laundry man all work in the Hospice. The Hospice provides a warm, friendly and peaceful environment for the patients and staff. With all the hardship of life and illness both patients and staff endure there is never a shortage of smiles and laughter. Affiliated with the hospice are also two children day centers that provide health care, nutrition and support to 120 orphaned children. The hospice also has an out reach programme that provides health care, food supplements and social support to the surrounding communities.