Monthly Archives: November 2010
This country is beautiful, and surprises me every day.
Just 45 minutes drive south is Dedza, the next market town along the road to Blantyre. If you turn off the main road and drive on the gravel road a few miles towards the Mozambique border, through villages and around a few hills, you come across an old church where the road ends.
Next week we have another Salima session. An extra ambulance of patients from the Lakeshore every day, referred by one of our close partners Malawi Council for the Handicapped, MACOHA. So a busy week ahead screening and helping two hundred or so people from Salima District, around a two hour drive from Nkhoma.
Mr Kambewa, the fantastic Clinical Officer and Cataract Surgeon here at Nkhoma, does a large amount of the work in theatre. Operating patients cataracts with high quality and high volume!
One of the jobs that falls on me however is operating all glaucoma patients (the surgery is a bit longer… around 30 minutes instead of 8 minutes for cataract surgery, and a bit more tricky with all the small stitches); and also all the patients who need cataract surgery, but have only ‘one eye’, in that the other is blind from a cause that we cannot treat.
Towards the end of November the rains start to arrive. There is a flurry of activity over the country as people prepare the fields for sowing. Many have already started.
Nature has amazing ways of announcing the last few weeks before the rains. Of course it is hot, but there are plenty more larger spiders, small scorpions (found one in the kitchen sink yesterday morning), snakes (nearly walked on one in the garden three nights ago), and ants. The flame or flamboyant trees are now in full bloom across the landscape. All this means the rains are close. And they can’t come too soon as it would be great to escape this heat! Well, to be honest, the rains can come too soon, and many villagers have to take chances on exactly when to sow the maize seedlings. If they sow even just a few weeks too soon, and the rains stop for a couple of weeks; they can lose everything.