Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Two Wins

Pool Hall

The shoe-shine boy, Yemataw is studying road construction, and once he has that Diploma he wants to go to University. He is soccer-mad, much more intense about his team, Manchester United than I have ever been about the All Blacks. He knows all the players names, histories and positions, and all the scores and dates of matches , often wears his MU shirt, and in the evenings plays soccer on the field across the fence with the other local soccer fans. Recently he went to Addis Ababa for the first time ever, and a huge highlight was seeing a match at the big stadium there between two of  the Ethiopian regional teams. Last week when he got back he mentioned that on Sunday he would be watching the next Man U game live. “Which channel?” I asked wondering if I could perhaps watch it too, on my satellite TV which has been repaired, though I still hardly ever watch it. “Oh no, not TV, in town” he said. And then I discovered there are several places in town that are connected to just about every available satellite TV station in the world – so you can imagine what my next thought was: The Rugby World Cup final! I made him take me to one of these places to see if they had access to the RWC final Live and they sure did! It came via a South African TV station, and the only charge for watching it would be something to cover the electricity – I gave them $1.50 – and it would start at Sunday. The venue had a slightly seedy atmosphere to it, the front room containing a pool table and walls decorated with images of busty white women and lots of cleavage, while through an open doorway at the back was a small darkened corrugated iron shed with bench seats lined up facing a decent sized plasma TV. And there I sat the next morning, the sole All Black supporter – indeed the sole Rugby supporter, but I watched the Final LIVE!  Man was it a tense match!  The few locals who drifted in were more amused by the scrums and the agony they could see me going though than the drama on the screen. And to think I could have watched the Semi Finals if I had only heard about this place sooner!
Dr Melesse Gardie and the Pharmacy Storeman handing me the Misoprostol
The other big win was the arrival at the hospital of a consignment of Misoprostol tablets. Dr Melesse had arranged for them to be supplied from a providor of  what they term “safe abortion” resources, on a continuing basis. Complications of “back street” abortion are a huge killer world wide, and no doubt here in Ethiopia, so I am all in favour of safe abortion., and very pleased to have their support. Apparently abortion is legal here in cases of rape and for a few other indications which seem to make it reasonably accessible. The midwives have already alerted me to two cases of what were probably complications of back street abortions, but fortunately none was serious. One of these women was HIV positive, a gorgeous looking 18 year old they told me was a local sex worker. Clearly given her recent pregnancy, her professional activities  are not “safe” and neither was her abortion. Dicing with Death on many fronts. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi David,

    Got to your blog via Webb Chiles's one.

    You really write well and it is a pleasure to read you.

    I'm a sailor too, although desk bound here in Brussels, Belgium for the moment.

    Keep up the writing and the good work.