No medicate the Leopard Man

For: Maria Ferreira (text and photos)

Two years after that first patient, I was in the same query. Dusk.

-It wants rain (looks like rain)- said Ndung’u.

-I am going away (me voy)- the challenged.

In llegar wanted home soaked. We got lazy and just as he heard screams turn the light off. Among four people brought a man bleeding. He had cut the body to go through a window.
Avisé a Ndung'u, that stood, looking at patient, smiling slightly. Two nurses came, fearful, with a submission that had never seen them. Begin to prepare a soothing. Had to medicate the patient and that this threatened to harm the other patients, they were waiting and- Ndung'u like and nurses- watched the scene in silence unusual at that Kenyan village.

One of the nurses whispered “If you read measurement lose power su”

I took the syringe, I swallowed hard and approached the patient like a brave girl. This snapped at air, but not backed. I calculated the minimum distance to be closer to inject the painkiller without being wounded. Then Ndung'u came between us, smilingly.

-Do not do- whispered taking my injection.

-But in crisis!-protested.

-It will pass- Contest Ndung'u.

-We can not heal the wounds if not calmed down before- I do not understand anything.

Nurses staring us. The patient was still trying to escape from the men who held him. One of them began to whisper:

-If you read measurement lose power su.

The nurse approached Ndung'u, shy, and emptying the syringe off the ground, with blood droplet.

-Pardon?- asked astonished.

-It has the power to become leopard, silly girl nurse began explaining- Si le medical su lose power. Want me to heal the wounds, only that.

“It has the power to become leopard, silly girl”, begins to explain

I waited general laughter. Disbelief. But there was a terrible silence just filling everything. Ndung'u nodded and put the man in the consultation Number Four. I locked there. They heard how he beat against furniture, how smashed medicine bottles.

-Lose strength- nurse explained- then we go in and heal.

I spent two hours trying to convince Ndung'u, with different ideological courtship methods, on the need to apply the scientific method. Ndung’u sonreía, simply, while I was spinning and getting desperate with each rumble coming out of the consultation Number Four.

I felt tremendously unsuccessful. Came the night. The patient-leopard woman and I looked occasionally

The man's wife arrived later, when Ndung'u was about to leave. It came loaded with fruit and a blanket, pretending to stay in the hallway all night. Like me, dam tired that I sat against the door and waited just to stop noises to enter. Log in and then what. I had no idea. I felt tremendously failed.
Night came. Flies were replaced by mosquitoes. The patient-leopard woman and I looked occasionally.

-Want?- woman handed me a banana. I accepted and I took the approach.

-It might calm your husband- I- might make you feel good and then we could all go home.

The woman smiled. “Why should calm down?”, I asked. I chewed in silence.

-No you angry, the ill- women continued talking. Laughed, with that aggressiveness proud of someone who does not accept defeat.

-Think you're here to save us from something you only see you- the woman continued- but really you're condemning. Ill.

I got up and lay down on a bench. I felt sad. Suddenly I hated everything. Suddenly I wanted to shake their minds, to shake mine to understand. Lost in my thoughts and lulled by the flapping of the wings of mosquitoes, I was getting myself sleeping.

Suddenly I wanted to shake their minds, to shake mine to understand

A rooster woke me up at five o'clock. Fruit bag and blanket of women were still there, but there was no sign of her. I assumed I would have gone to the latrine. I hurried and displaying a nifty little parody detective went to the health center's kitchen. The cook was already preparing breakfast. I found some pieces of cold chicken, by which some ants walking. I cleaned it and took it. The cook was amused that white girl cogiera food, so I made a mental note should discuss this with his parents when he went to visit them. Gossip white people always triumphed.

I was back in front of the door of the consultation. I looked sideways and saw that his wife was not Leopard. I opened the door in fear, carefully. I had to wait for my eyes to adjust to the darkness, and so, between the disaster of broken bottles and toppled furniture, distinguished the patient, curled up in a corner. Like a feline. This raised his head and looked at me. I went and let the chicken on the floor. He took the chicken and out the door, tranquil, wounded, worthy. Nothing more happened.
Ndung'u came when I was picking the query.

Working in Kenya involves ego swallow every day and assume you really do not know anything about anything

-¿Sabes?- I said – may have been wiping my truth. But is that the truth is all that I have.

When what I really meant was: how cute, how I believed that it was essential. !I felt so cheated when I was a kid and saw the bus shelters advertising plagued NGOs, I imagined something different. Something easier. More heroic. But work Kenya supposed to swallow the ego every day and assume you really do not know anything about anything.
The next week I spent time in hospital of Nairobi. The doctors said they had cholera and malaria.

It was then, without that truth dragging a child, when I start working well

But I knew that the only serious happened is that I had lost my truth. And that, without that truth dragging a child, when I start working well. And you learn not to judge each and every one of the days I spend in Kenya.

If you want to know more about Africa Karibuni projects: http://www.karibuniafrica.org/

Research conducted:

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