I Like Standing

November 29th, 2010

Buried under work now. Barely stick my nose up before its time to go home.Administration, paperwork…and more paperwork. It is the season for CV’s. We receive some every day. Came across an unusual one. Worth mentioning. The guy was a computer technician. Lots of qualifications. Among his interests he listed… reading, swimming, sport, fishing and…STANDING.

It must have been the heat… Ben and l collapsed laughing.

“And did you take up standing as a young boy?”

“Do you like to stand on your own or in a group”?

“What’s the longest you have stood for”


Had to go home for a few days. Came back to open arms and a bursting heart.  I have a good friend here. His name is Faxon. He is a cook. He is graceful and bold and beautiful and good. Hard life but not so bad. While l was gone, his little boy took ill on Saturday morning. He strapped the young boy to his back and cycled to hospital. 20 kms away. The boy died that afternoon. The same day his wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She still has no name.

The next day the gardener’s son took ill. A little baby. Lucy rushed him to the Baptist hospital. He died that afternoon.

Everybody is gaunt and strained. When l asked..why? All anybody could say is. This is what is happening. It a silent killer. We don’t know why.

The grief is deep. They get up the next day. They walk to work. There are so many funerals that employers restrict their employees to funerals of immediate family only. Just too many every day.

But there are moments where you get a peek into heaven. Sitting on the shores of the lake. The line on the horizon offering glimpses of Mozambique. Young men in dug out wooden boats trailing nets, cows ambling on the shore with boys no more that 8 herding in earnest.

Sitting under the shade of a magnificent tree covered with orange blossoms. And the birds. Blue, yellow, and red in the sky and peeking from  the  trees. Takes my breath away. In a nod to Noah…  2 birds fly side by side. As the sun goes down, two young men while away the afternoon lying in the warm lake eating mangos. I can hear them laughing and talking. Good friends. For that moment all was perfect in the world.

So much oesphigical cancer. Talk is why? Is it the ensema (their basic food made from maize). An NGO will have to take this on. Nobody here can. Our doctor went on a home visit to a young man who had a tumor on his eyeball. His eye was completely distended affecting the other eye and all of the nerves in his face. It could have been avoided. He went to a good hospital when it first appeared. They took a biopsy. He went home. Nobody called him. Eventually he was told it would take three years to get his results. He stayed at home in his village. Even at this end stage he was asking our doctor could she cure him. She is tied up in frustration. All she could offer him was Palliative Care.

l am learning that the work is never ending. There is simply so much to do. Have to keep reminding myself that we can only do our little bit in our little bit of the world.

Interesting night coming up tonight. Having a barbque .

My friends have come from Ireland to help. So good to see them. My friend has come from Kampala for the weekend. Bright red hair and beautiful. Raised in Malawi and back now, giving most of Africa a very firm hand!  And my friend who is partial to guns and rangers is driving down from her camp to get some R&R.  She can’t seem to part from her scouts. She’s just called to ask if she can bring one and put him in a tent in the garden. Sure. Another Ugandan lady who spends all of her time travelling to different parts of Africa setting up Palliative Care and a frankly mad but lovely woman from Zimbabwe who now lives here. A sort of …  Major of Malawi.  You want police, army tractors, tailors, coffins, money, medicine, sugar …anything.  Just call her.

Just one man. A lovely man. Have asked him to dress up!

Don’t think we will do much standing. Maybe dancing.

This entry was posted on Monday, November 29th, 2010 at and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.