Africans, Mikumi Mammals, and Morphine

So the car broke down on the way to the African Safari.  It could’ve been bad, but it wasn’t, and by that point I was so in awe of what I’d seen thus far that I felt like any situation would be a good one.  From Dar Es Salaam to the Mikumi National Park, we passed through many “towns.”  Back home these would be considered either gigantic expanses of homelessness or places where some sort of disaster relief from the government would be expected.  These are the “towns” where our patients arrive from and it really put our families in perspective to see these places.  All the hardship and chaos of these places aside, Africans by and large are very positively social people.  EVERYONE is outside all of the time, rain or shine.  I can’t even really tell what everyone is doing but they’re all out there and they’re all socializing.  Truth be told, each one of these towns looks like a big, disheveled party (kind of like some hot summertime music festivals I’ve been to) and everyone’s having a good time despite what it looks like from my perspective.  On the way through these parties, I bought some fresh cashews, had a coffee and some kind of meat pastry that was so good I got another one, and bought some hand-carved drink coasters made from ebony wood.  The Safari was everything Erica had to say about it and I agree that it was up there in the top 3 experiences I’ve ever had.  My favorite part, other than the hippoes, was when we became surrounded by a herd of Impala.  Hundreds of Impala and we turned the car off and just sat there while they hovered around us and then all sort of started to move at once.  Once they all started running it sounded like rain coming down.  Very peaceful.  Actually when these animals move in herds they’re kind of hard to see. They look like grass waving on a prairie or something like that.

Back to work today…more jaw-dropping cases and experiences.  I taught the team why people simultaneously lose fecal continence and have urinary retention with compressive spinal cord lesions….Some faint puff of smoke in my mind from med school years that came out very unexpectedly.  Fortunately some kids that were really sick last week looked a lot better when I walked in today…Smaller rhabdos and such.  Good to know they’ll need one less scoop from the common-use morphine jug!  Seriously though, there’s a common-use morphine jug that just sits on the desk for parents to come fill up when they need to.  Its the only pain med available here.

Til next time!

S

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