Sunday, March 9, 2008


Muzungo is the Rufumbira (that is the language they speak here) word for white person. Or actually non-African black because they call Asians that too. That is what you hear everywhere you go. The children all follow you and yell MUZUNGO MUZUNGO. The most frequent thing the children say is "Muzungo give me a pen". Then sometimes you get "Muzungo give me money". Other times it is "Muzungo how are you" Pronounced "Howa you". It is really cute when all the dirty littles kiddies who can barely walk probably 2-3 years old all say "howa you, howa you, howa you" and wave to us. We wave back. I don't really get the thing with the pens. One time some white dude must have come to this town and given the kids a whole lot of pens.

So Day 4 in the wards was pretty routine. The girl with the status epilepticus was seizing again when we went back in the next morning. And we went through the valium and phenobarbital via NG tube again. Her oxygen was 48% again but she was still alive and her seizures stopped. We performed another paracentesis that day also. Several of my patients develop delirium. I guess we see it in the States too as altered mental status but it is more pronounced here. They have high fevers then become confused and sometimes violent. After work Sara and I went into town for dinner and signed up for an adventure to go on the next day.



Eli said...

I've heard other people talking about groups of African kids asking them for pens before, but I don't know the origin either. Enjoy your adventure.

Jeremy said...

when i was in egypt the kiddies also hounded us for pens, pronounced "bens"

Emily said...

Same thing in Honduras. Someone should write a thesis about this...maybe the kid with all the pens!

Sam and Rachel said...

-maybe they just want your autograph?

-you should at least try signing crap for them and see what happens (make a video of that too, please)

GilleArjomanBand said...

Or maybe just an African form of Pennies (remember the UK protectorate of Uganda?)