This was Day 2 of the clinics! Our clinics are staffed by a local registered nurse and offer absolutely free prescription and nonprescription medication (thanks to Indianapolis Rotary Club). Today we used Phunjwane Primary School in Hhelehhele Village as our clinic’s location. We weren’t sure what to expect because we have never attempted a clinic in this community before. However, Mrs. Shongwe (our head teacher) did an amazing job spreading the word because our typical 2-3 hour clinic was 7 HOURS LONG! There was an endless line of elderly and babies for the first half and then, once school got out, there was an endless sea of school aged kids. About halfway through, the medications started getting dangerously low… and then Kait found a box of medications we forgot we had – what a pleasant surprise! We were back in action! We saw well over 350 people which makes a total of 425-450 people the last two days. There were only two patients we were unable to treat. One had an eye infection and we will buy him drops… but the other patient had the worst case of ringworm I have ever seen. Her hair had all fallen out and her skin was thick and scaly. It completely engulfed her entire head. Unfortunately no clinics in Swaziland carry the oral medication needed to eliminate such a severe case of ringworm, so we will run around town to try to find it for her. Fingers crossed!
Sweetie Mphilo has spent her high school career focusing on education. Her English language skills have grown tremendously and she still loves geography and history. But this year she joined the drama team and today also was their first drama/production. In the performance, she played the mom. She described her play to us and we all sat intently. She was married and unable to have kids. Her neighbor died of HIV and she adopted the neighbors two girls. But then her husband started coming on to the oldest daughter until one day he raped her. Mphilo found out, called the police, and the husband went to jail. The end. I wish I could say that this story – and others of rape and abuse – was uncommon here. But I cannot. And I wish I could say that the abusers went to jail and the little girls healed and lived happily ever after. But I cannot. We have a couple of orphaned girls in our system who were abused by their aunt’s boyfriend. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the nasty boyfriend who was removed from the situation, it was the sweet girls who were “punished”. They were removed from the house where there was at least running water, food, and electricity – and moved to the rural area into an elderly lady’s one room hut who already raises 3 orphaned children without money, water, food, or electricity. I am happy that Mphilo likes acting and enjoys the comradery of her acting crew. I am thrilled that the school is exposing rape in the culture and trying to change the accepted consequences of it, but I am going to sleep sad that the story was fiction. Praying for more real cases to have the same happy ending – or better yet, that real cases stop happening altogether. www.ifightpoverty.org/donate.html