Sunday, 13 March 2005

That's Negative Ma'am!

We went to town yesterday to check my malaria status again. It was a public holiday, so we weren't even sure the clinic was open. The roads were quiet. On the way in we passed a lone police officer on a California-style mountain bike, complete with go-faster helmet. A solitary watermelon sat on an abandoned roadside stall.

The clinic was open, and as always the staff were pleasant and cheerful. Even the nurse who was telling someone on the other end of the telephone how she thought she would be murdered in her bed any day now.

Thankfully, the test was negative. No horrid quinine. We decided to go out for lunch to celebrate.

Outside in the bright sunshine a small girl in a spiderweb of stiff bright nylon carried a juice bottle on her head. A ribbon-tailed flycatcher trailed across the windscreen as we pulled up at the restaurant. In the tv room, a large comfy chair was positioned directly in front of the screen. Its occupant: a fat hen.

Back home a man on a bicycle was waiting. He addressed The Husband. As a woman I am unseen, unimportant, no need to greet me.

"Evening sir. I am Nkhoma from the Chief's Camp. I am bringing you a rock." I left The Husband to figure it out...