Written December 7th, 2012
This morning my site family came over and said were going to visit an ankizy marary, a sick kid. I was sure they were going to say a dead person because if someone is dressed up and comes to get me in the morning that is usually where we are going. But no, this was a 12-year-old girl who had gotten back from the hospital the day before. I asked what had happened and they said they didn’t know but that she had lots of problems. She couldn’t walk or talk.
So we walked to the other part of town to visit this girl and her mom and to chat for a while. I had never seen them before but I guess they keep pretty busy with day to day tasks. I certainly don’t know what was wrong with her, but she had very contracted muscles with her legs curled up and her arms close to her chest and hands in fists. She fell asleep shortly after we arrived and she was clenching her jaw and grinding her teeth super bad.
Apparently she went to the hospital because she had some breathing issues and even then her breathing still looked strained. The mom talked all about the hospital and the machines she was hooked up to. She said that the hospital stay was free but she had to pay for the medicines to take home but she was 300 Ariary short (less than 15 cents) so she couldn’t buy one of them. The other moms told her next time to have the doctor write down all the medicines so that if there wasn’t enough money she could get them at the local clinic once she had enough. It is customary to give money when visiting sick people (I gave 2,000 Ariary) so hopefully she can buy whatever medicine she was missing!
Later Ninah and I went to visit some people who had some new smart phones. They were fancy, way fancier than mine. They were still learning how to use them so I updated the time and date for them and then showed them the all important task of how to play angry birds. The woman also had a whole bunch of hair products with English instructions she got somewhere so she wanted me to read all the labels and tell her how to use them ( I am glad I am useful for something in my village!). She also told me how she was going to buy a hair machine next week.
Kara: What kind of machine? Does it dry your hair?
Woman: No. It makes it longer.
Kara: ……… oh, you mean it makes it straight?
Woman: It just makes it longer.
This is how I am going to think of hair straighters in the future. Hair lengthener just sounds much more magical. Then we did a photo shoot with her baby Harrison (who was born the day before I arrived at site by the way so he is super special).
Then Ninah learned how to use my camera and went off on a photo shooting spree in the rice fields. All day long she was telling people she learned how to take pictures and was very proud (I have the most basic point and click camera but we all have to start somewhere).