On Thursday, we held a sort of clinic in the Ninenyang Health Centre as they are out of drugs and have a malaria crisis. It was a really hard day. The weather’s been heating up again and it was over 40°C in the shade. When people heard we were there they literally came running, babies in arms!
No one seemed to be hurt as people started jumping from their boat to ours and making their way to our dock. It was so ridiculous we were hysterical, dancing and slapping at the ferocious bugs that were greedily devouring our exposed limbs, while we cried delirious tears of laughter over the past week’s events.
Sleeping on the ground in day-old, fishy, muddy, sweaty clothes isn’t my idea of a great night out, but still it gave me time and reason to reflect and understand the people I’m working with better. Not the staff, though yes them too somewhat, but the patients. The oldies that come with general body pains that we send away with no medication, telling them its normal to have body pains after working in the fields cultivating, carrying 20kg drums of water for miles on their heads, cutting and carrying wood for miles just in order to live.
Kate Chapman is a nurse working with MSF in Matter, Ethiopia. Kate and her team have an unexpected camping adventure and gain further understanding of how local people live when they get stuck in the middle of nowhere.
Before, I was also a refugee in Ethiopia. It was a long time ago and there were many of us. We spent something like 20 years there as refugees. After that, we came back to Blue Nile and now again we are here in Doro camp, because of this new fighting in Blue Nile State.
For the refugees living all around me in Doro, there is not enough water for everyone. It is my wife who collects the water. When she goes in the morning, sometimes she can wait till evening before she gets any water. Every time she comes back and she tells me about how she had to quarrel with other women about the water.