Monday, April 13, 2009

Cause and effect

Today has been the first day off for the hubby since he arrived in Zambia, and this only because some of the stuff he needs to make heads and tails of his work here is still in customs, and today being a holiday, it is not coming out of there before tomorrow, if then. Bad for him, nice for me.

Why then are we not on our way back from Victoria Falls? Our ambitious plan was to start off 5AM from Lusaka, be in the historical town of Livingstone in southern Zambia at 10AM, take in the town, check out the Zambian side of the falls, and be back in Lusaka around 8PM, before the roads get too dangerous. But, alas, this was not to be. 

The hubby is sick. S -I - C - K as only a man is. He has the sniffles, and oh my is he miserable. The most he could muster, since we felt the need to give the nice cleaning people at the hotel some space to work their magic (and who really wants to look behind that scene anyway), was to drive me around Lusaka with the camera stuck to my face for a change, and treat me to lunch at a pretty cool local place. However, before we stopped for lunch a thought occurred, and after making the hubby flush all of his dirty tissues and really scrub his hands with soap, it still hasn't gone anywhere. I realized that the hubby could inadvertently kill someone.

Let me explain this horrifying conclusion. 

A while back I read somewhere that Zambia has one of the highest concentrations of people with HIV and AIDS. Unfortunately, I now know, this information is correct. According to Avert, 15% of the adult population in Zambia lives with this disease. I realize that the number is 3% lower than the number for South Africa, but we haven't been sick in South Africa, and at home the hubby would be just there - in isolation at home - if he was sick. Now, at lunch, by just breathing the same air with the other people in the restaurant he could pass on his sniffles to someone whose immune system would not be able to cope, and who would then become the main participant in one of the far too commonplace funeral processions that, even just in the past couple of days, I have already seen too many of. And, chances are, before attending the procession the person would in turn pass on what begun as the simple sniffles. There would be no testing and no medication.  

At the local marketplace there were far too many people selling headstones.     

When the reality finally hits home, it really floors you.  

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