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Showing posts from March, 2008

Wherever you go...

I pull the sterile gloves over my gown sleeves and look at the nurse.“Please could you…?” I ask shrugging my shoulders in the universal “my-sterile-gown-is-about-to-fall-off” gesture. She grins and slips around the bed to fumble for the poppers at the back. I eye her name badge. Startled – I glance at her. “Your name is Ndlovu?”“Yes.”“But that is a Zulu name!”“Yes!” Her face lights up. “You have been to South Africa?”“I was working there last year.”“Oh! Where were you working?”“Hlabisa.” She claps her hands for joy, an enormous grin crossing her face.“But I live near there. If you take the road from Mtuba to the hospital I live in a village on the right.”I laugh at the incongruity of it. Here, in the dark at 2am, on a medical ward in an Oxford hospital, working with a Zulu nurse just I did for the last year. We talk animatedly about her home. “Did you train at Hlabisa?”“No. I trained at Bethesda. Do you know it?”“Oh yes – I visited a couple of times and worked there when I was a medic…