Hospital tour

Elsie took me out to Mbingo for the day to see the scenery, greet some CMFers and see the hospital. Unfortunately, it was rainy and overcast with great, thick, low clouds covering the hills, so the panorama she was so eager to show me was hidden. Nevertheless, the green hills were very impressive. Take away the zinc-roofed, mud-walled houses and one might think it were Ireland. Certainly not the picture of Africa I’ve ever drawn in my mind’s eye.

The hospital. I avoid hospitals and doctors as much as possible in Canada, but I was curious to see the place I’d heard so much about here. The most interesting thing about the tour was probably the fact that I wandered around the entire hospital with a guide who is neither medical personnel nor a hospital worker, nor even a resident on the compound. She has been around enough to know what she’s talking about, of course, but I was struck by how utterly forbidden—indeed, impossible—this scenario would be in North America.

The place was pretty quiet, it being a weekend with only essential personnel working. The low wall bordering the covered walkway was covered in sleeping bodies—patients must bring their own attendants to cook for them and provide non-medical care.


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