|The local hospital and its wings|
As our day-workers do some last minute cleaning before we receive patients, we sit down outside to have our weekly team meeting. Since the ship arrived the patients have seen many white people (yes, I could have written Westerners, please don't read more into my sentence than what it is. I simply pointed out the fact that our skin colour is different), but they still stop and stare at us - hopefully the sensation will be over soon.
I am about to speak when the door next to us swung open and they pushed out a bed with a patient on it. She is still sleeping and that's when I realize it: one of the ORs is just next door to us. They debate for a while what to do with her, then they lift up the bed and carry it up on the steep staircase (see photo). Above us I see vultures everywhere.
It must be noon as I can see people in the opposite wing are getting ready for the Dhuhr - noon prayer time for Muslims. Men come to the corridors, put down their rugs and bow down next to each other in a very organised manner. A few meters behind them ladies do the same. This solemn moment is broken when a bunch of street dogs scare the kids who walk in the courtyard. They run away shouting, while carrying heavy looking boxes on their heads - as it turns out they are bringing in food items for the patients to purchase, that is if they can afford to buy anything. If I didn't know better, I'd never have guessed that this is a hospital!
|Our Team: Franck from Benin, Ryan from South Africa, Barry & Cheryl from UK and me|
Is it any surprise that this place is the vultures' favourite gathering place?
|This lady is sleeping in front of the ward door outside, on the floor.|
|This dumpster site is only 500 meters away form the hospital on the beach road...|