Friday, August 27, 2010

Volunteering, Day 2

We went back to Dr. George Mukhari Hospital in Ga-Rankuwa to volunteer. We reported to Major Masuku in Ward 15. We mopped floors and I made the patients laugh by trying to speak Setswana. (Dan made them laugh just by virtue of being a white man mopping floors!)It must be so hard to be a patient and wonder if you will get the medical care that you need. It was sad to see doctors debating over when to do surgery on a patient because of lack of nurses to assist, and a patient going from ward to ward looking for a spine doctor to help him (this poor man really shouldn't have been walking).

The SANDF (South African National Defense Force) are wonderful and are doing a fantastic job keeping the hospital running. The other volunteers are also great and we have formed a sort of cameraderie, looking out for one another and devising ways to get past the strikers and into the hospital. One guy we helped yesterday helped us today by telling us to use the vehicle entrance rather than the pedestrian entrance. Yesterday he became part of our group of 5 that the hospital administration were looking for (I don't know how we suddenly became a group of 5, but it was funny how we stuck together after that).

I also must commend the doctors and nurses who aren't striking. It is actually dangerous for them, as many of them are receiving threats by their striking colleagues. Keep them in your prayers, as well as the patients.

South Africa may be limping along at the moment, but there are some fantastic people living here who put their personal safety aside for the greater good.

9 comments:

wakeupcowboys said...

Ahh, dear Angela, you ARE learning to be an American African. You have no idea how proud I am of you.

ROSIE said...

I am proud of all of you! Wish so dearly I could come help with the nursing shortage aspect.

chessaleeinlondon said...

It is GREAT to so someone like you volunteering in my country, wish I was there now to volunteer at a hospital. My sister is at Zuid-Afrikaans Hospital in Groenkloof, Pretoria and 2 days ago she said 6 pasients have died so far due to the strike and some volunteers are acting like clowns and actually doing nothing...good to see you being sensible and brightening up the pasients' days with some humour. Thank you for doing it! you're such of great inspiration to others

chessaleeinlondon said...

meaing... of such great inspiration

Annie said...

I don't know... sometimes I wonder if the patients aren't more inspiring. The real heroes of this country are its citizens.

chessaleeinlondon said...

Hi Annie, I have an award for you, waiting on my blog! You need to come and "collect" it :)

Annie said...

Ag... dit was baie soet van jou! Dankie! Ek waardeer dit baie. :-)

chessaleeinlondon said...

Dis 'n plesier! [It's a pleasure!]
Your Afrikaans is perfect! The more correct way to say what you said would be: Ag,.. dit was dierbaar van jou!... --I know you don't mind correcting you slightly :) "soet" is the direct translation of "sweet" - not 100% wrong!

Annie said...

Ah yes, dierbaar. I was actually debating, moet ek die woord "dierbaar" of "soet" gebruik. Thanks for correcting me. Ek waardeer dit baie!