just another day of bandaging and chicken leg breaking

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Africa » Sierra Leone » Freetown
May 16th 2012
Published: May 17th 2012
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We left the branch a bit later yesterday (15/5); leaving just 10 minutes later can make a world of difference. It took over 2 hours to return to the hotel suddenly appreciating the congestion charge in London. 2 hours of driving through the slums watching how people live, women washing clothes in water running down from the hill, children playing around the drains, men sitting drinking their beer and playing chess and older women sweeping the piles and piles of rubbish that just is never ever going to end because everywhere looks like a landfill site. Men are burning the rubbish and the people are trying to clean it up but the next minute they are dropping it again…

It was 6.45pm and I noticed many school children, all in lovely school uniforms looking very smart. I asked the driver “what time does school finish?” he explained that due to the rising population school is in two shifts. 8am – 1pm for the youngsters and 1pm – 6.30 for the seniors!

First aid is a bit livelier today with many questions, we have of course chatted about Epilepsy, Moses shared a story with me about his niece, she had a seizure in the yard, his uncle called to him to fetch the candles which they placed around her and lit. They then begged the demons to leave – consequently she died as they did not care for her properly, they refused to touch her as they may catch demons from her – I can only hope that my teachings this week will change his thoughts. Sarah told me that she had a seizure during labour, it was only because she chose to give birth in a German hospital that she is alive today, her friend who gave birth in a local hospital and also had a seizure died because the “medical” staff tried to rid her of demons…

Wounds and Bleeding? Usually a simple and fun subject especially when you ask “has anyone dealt with any wounds that they want to tell the group about?” but when someone turns to you and says “errr Miss Lisa, we had a war you know…” it makes you feel like a right plum! And amputations well their knowledge on this subject is scary!

So here are some other tribal beliefs for you… “ah you have a brokenleg? Let me break this chickens leg and you can heal together” and of course don’t forget “Nose bleed? Pop your head back and stick some coal up your nostrils”

Whilst bandaging Bernard asked “what happens if during Sexual Activity the woman gets excited and bites your penis? How do you bandage that?” I suggested he cleaned it and no bandaging required, be more scared if she had a convulsion as he would lose it altogether as she would swallow it. I swear he almost went white!

Burns next with the guys…



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