Thursday, March 30, 2006

A typical week in Botswana

I just found this e mail in a draft folder. I wrote it a couple of years ago whilst I was still living in Botswana. I though I'd publish it as it has some interesting insights into life in Africa from an outsiders perspective.

'Hello there. Well, I'm finally back in Francistown following my five week trip to Zambia, the UK and Zambia again. I am now back at work so life is returning to normal. And normal in Botswana means funerals and hospital visits!

On route from the Zambian border we were overtaken by a South African car being driven by a Zambian guy I'd been chatting to at the border. He was shifting somewhat but that is par for the course in Botswana. About 50KM's after he'd overtaken us we came across his car in flames at the side of the road. He had swerved to avoid some cattle and had lost control of the vehicle. Fortunately, another Zambian guy and four Zimbabweans were quickly on the scene and managed to cut the man and his wife from the wreckage before the flames caused the car to blow. Being in the middle of nowhere police and/or paramedics were not an option so the Zambian rushed the patients to hospital whilst Betty and I packed up all of the couples belongings (which had also been rescued) and followed to Francistown.

The couple are now stable and will eventually be okay (a rarity in such circumstances over here) and we are visiting them twice a day to keep them company and to wash them, bring them food and drinks etc. The nurses here are worse than useless and are toatally uncaring. Patients are left for days on end and there is no guarantee that they will even be given prescribed medicines! The doctors at least are good and are aware of the nature of the majority of nurses they work with.

Furthermore, we arrived back to hear that Betty's friend, Ruth (one of our bridesmaids) had lost her mother. Now, as is the tradition, we are visiting the 'funeral house' on a daily basis. What with work, hospital visits and mourning I am a very tired man! Actually the funeral house isn't too bad as we just sit around chatting with our friends for a couple of hours.'

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