Wednesday, February 11, 2009


The highlight of my day today was at the outpatient clinic. We showed up at 2pm ready to see patients. Caitlin and I being mentored by a doctor visiting from Ohio State. When we came in the door one of the assistants approached us and told us that she had 24 little children who have all had fever and cough since Sunday. The children were boarding at the primary school and had all caught the same illness.

I looked at her unbelievingly and thought Really? 24?. I suggested that we have them come into the room 4 at a time so we could see them in groups. The first four came in and they were so shy.  They each held their green Bukana with a temperature written in it that had been taken by the nurse. They weren’t actually very sick and only a very few of them had a fever. Even so, Caitlin and I examined every single one of them and wrote them all for Tylenol syrup.

The matron had these children very well disciplined and they were so good about letting us listen to their hearts and lungs. They also were very good about letting us get a good look inside their mouths. Probably seeing their peers go through the same thing and not come out crying made them feel a little more at ease.

One of the cutest was a little girl named Palesa, which means Flower in Sesotho.  She was only 2 and a half and was dressed in a green and yellow school uniform. She had been watching us examine the bigger children and she walked up  to my chair and without request began taking deep breaths just like she had seen the other children do. I didn’t even have my stethoscope out yet to listen to her lungs.  It was such a joy to see so many healthy young children at the end of a hard day. 


  1. ahh. what a nice ending. i love the part about Palesa!

  2. a little ray of sunshine. i am so proud of you bina- and i love the pictures. happy valentine's day!