I am no war veteran, nor do I condone the current situation back home. And though I left home in search of better remuneration, I still love my country. I saw the western machinations in effect through their journalism. And to my dismay other African countries chimed in. This is actually in response to an article i read on a certain website that saw the capital city in my country of birth ranked worst place to live in.
Ok granted the place is not the garden of Eden, But just like any town it has its slums and it has its suburban households etc. The Article it seems was written to further denigrate African countries and the picture that was taken was probably “googled”, copied and pasted into the document.
Now I have no idea where this picture was taken, nor do I dispute that this picture could actually be of Zimbabwean children, However for a fair comparison one really needed to decide which areas to focus on. The survey was said to focus on 5 things, Stability, health care, Culture and environment, Education and infrastructure. Now as far as stability goes, my fellow Zimbabweans will back me up here, politically the environment has somewhat stabilised from the situation in 2008, surely it cant be as bad as they say it is. Health care provision is not superb but most have access to affordable health care.
As far as culture is concerned I would like to know what yardstick was used to measure that seeing that culture is dynamic. Is the countries culture not as good because it won’t accept same sex relationships? Or because our children are still allowed to pray at school? Or because people are not overtly sexualised?
The food, maybe our food is not as good as other countries because it is not packed with hormones and antibiotics like in other countries. Maybe it doesn’t taste as good because it is not genetically modified. Maybe its not as good as other countries because the beef actually tastes like beef and the chicken really does actually taste like chicken. I am no expert by no means but coming to this place what i found striking as how the chicken tasted like fish…
To be fair every city has slums. Infrastructure wise, for comparison of any two cities you need to compare similar places. So for the benefit of those who don’t believe let me present to you My Harare as it really is, not as it is portrayed by young journalist sitting behind his desk with “googling” images.
I weigh a modest 86.1 Kg now. Down from 88.1 last month and up from the 63kg i weighed when I got here about 9 months ago. The weight gain was necessary in the beginning because being a young doctor in a place this traditional you needed to have a bit of presence (read weight). “Dr Katiti” or “onganga katiti” i believe was what they called me when I got here. The direct translation for this being “Little Doctor”. So I put on a few kilos thanks initially to the cooking of my best friend’s wife who I was staying with at the time. Let me clarify the last statement, just realised its open to misinterpretation. I was staying with both my best friend and his wife ( three of us). Anyway when my wife came over the momentum was carried forward, and i quickly went from my 63 kgs to 90.1kg. That’s when I figured that enough was enough I had to keep it in check now.
So my wife and I agreed to exercise on a daily basis and watch what we ate. I think we were a bit too ambitious. The plan was simple, I do my Billy Blanks because well, I thought it was Macho and she does the whole Zumba thing that seems to be taking over most of the gym. Flawless plan except for the fact that we keep sabotaging each others’ diets. Ok for example after a vigorous work out in the morning and an endorphin charged day, i will get home to find my wife has baked cup cakes. I will resist as much as I can until sometime near the witching hour I have to open the lunch box and scoff down 2 at a time. To get back i will bring chocolate from work the next day.
Now I think my friends wife and my wife are conspiring against my weight loss plan. Because today my wife made scalloped potatoes ( they had cream and all) and this was followed by Cheese cake of all things people, Cheese cake! ( Me thinks tomorrow I am going to bring hone a box of snickers bars. There is also this thing about having a “man sized” portion of food in my plate. I think most African women take that expression a little too literally. I am hoping that this blog entry will let a certain lady know that I am on to her plan to fatten me up for the kill. Oh as a cruel twist of fate, apparently my younger sister has lost as much weight as I have gained. And I will not stand for it. My diet will go on!
Today in my little town, a young woman was shot dead by a lover, who happened to be a policeman. The fall out from this, in a little place like the one I live in will be legendary. Apparently it was a crime of passion. Never did understand that term fully, it seems like a play on words, a crime done passionately? or a crime done out of the perpetrators’s passion? if that is the case, his passion for what? Killing? The events of today just serve to further reinforce my fear of men (or women) in Uniform.
When I was a little boy, I used admire the police officers and soldiers. They were supposed to people you would run to when you got lost or just needed to fell safe. I began to have doubts however at the age of 14 when i was almost mugged and stabbed in a dark alley in full view of a police officer at a crowded service station in my home town of Bulawayo. Suddenly they didn’t seem like the guardian angels that we had been led to believe in as kids. “When you are lost go to the nearest police officer” they would say etc etc ad nausium. Now they were just people and susceptible to all the weaknesses and flaws inherent in the Human race.
Fast forward a few years to beginning of medical school. Was introduced to campus security or as we called them Green Bombers ( named because of their green uniforms). Not the friendliest bunch of people, did a terrible job of guarding the premises but a splendid Job of trying to intimidate the students. The uniform gave them grandiose delusions of power. Power which was totally imaginary. There is something about getting the slower ( I use the term slower because am deliberately avoiding the term intellectually inferior) group of individuals to supervise the younger smarter individuals who are usually destined to become their supervisors in the not so distant future. It should be a really humbling experience. But nooo; not for these gentlemen who who take pride in their ignorance.
University introduced me to the “black boots” nickname we gave to the riot police who came to quell the demonstrations that would erupt occasionalyy from time to time. They took pride in beating the life out of us. We called the encounters with these soldiers “friendlies” because they happened so often even though they weren’t the friendliest of encounters. Can recall one encounter when a “lady black boot” chased a group of University Bachelor associates (UBAs), only to be out flanked and beaten down. It is said she detonated a canister of teargas without her mask on to disperse the crowd that was pummelling her, but the UBAs simply covered their faces and continued pummelling her. It was said in this match the black boots had scored an own goal by gassing themselves.
I will not speak about the events leading up to the “final push” to have a certain president of a little country called Zimbabwe removed forcibly. No students were injured or killed by soldiers. Israeli built anti riot tankers did not roll onto campus. The soldiers did not make crawl on their bellies to get to their rooms. None of that happened at all, really… No i’m serious it did not happen and I did not witness it first hand. Besides that I am out of the country so I cant exactly tell you it happened since I want to go home some day. Life expectancy in that country is in the thirties. Obviously someone forgot to tell “his excellency” Who coincidentally has a ceremonial uniform and is mindlessly followed by other like minded individuals in uniform.
My next encounter with the police was bribing my way out of a ticket; shame on me for trying but then again more shame on them for accepting a 5 dollar bribe. ( yes USD). The next was this shooting here, not at all awe inspiring.
I work in an oestrogen charged environment. I love it, you get that bull in the pen feeling every time you walk into the office, unfortunately it also means once a month the office isn’t exactly a good place to be. It is worse when there are 3 women in the office because since they go through that time of the month at different times you also have to deal with it three times a month. I am a doctor and I have actually considered dosing their water with oral contraceptives to synchronise their periods, that way I only have to put up with it once a month. its interesting however that its not really the oestrogen that causes that time of the month, more lack thereof. As the ovum says its goodbye the frustration of not being fertilised. Its not my fault so don’t bring that stuff to work!
I think white people take the whole nothing ventured nothing gained a little too far. There are some things that aren’t worth the risks. Granted, in the words of my younger brother ( not knowing where he may have got it from) to ‘be fearless is to be limitless”. if he had pulled it off he would probably have gotten himself the greatest shot ever
let me rewind a little. it turns out that two tourists, husband and wife were attacked by an elephant in the nearby bushes. this happened because they wanted to get a really good picture of the elephant, or so I was told. Elephants are notoriously territorial and apparently also don’t like having their pictures taken. The poor man was trampled into the ground to the point that he was half buried and obviously dead. While the wife had to be transferred to a nearby hospital and is reported to be in critical condition. I can imagine the shot he would have gotten if he had managed to escape, but he didn’t. this leaves the question, was it worth the risk? Was he really thinking about. What will his kids or his grandkids be thinking. Which ever way you look at it, this was not a way to go. Not at all.
Himbas on the other hand have the most amazing survival skills. I have seen them time their runs between cars in traffic, they don’t stick around when they think there is danger. One of my neighbours has this really big dog, i swear that thing looks like a lion. When they see that dog they literally dash like their lives depend on it (not that they do, coz the dog is really overweight and lazy and its bark really is worse than its bite) . They don’t stick around for the money shot. Perhaps maybe that is why their kind ( and I mean that in the least tribalistic or racist way imaginable) has survived so long despite being so backward. they survive because they are cowards. Afraid of everything, even change. I suppose most have no idea what I am talking about when I talk about Himbas, well all you need to do is Google the word, you will get very interesting images.
So who would you emulate in this regard… Would you take the gamble for the money shot?
Before you raise that hand to lay it on a woman, be she your sister, girlfriend, wife or just one you are pissed of with……consider this.
Had you own mother (a woman) been reluctant to push just as you tried to bring your head out of her you would have suffocated and died. Your life would have had its abrupt end there and then.
Had that same women left you to your own devices to fend for your self, you would probably be dead. But instead she nurtured you in her bosom into the big man you are now, to the strength you have now. Instead of protecting her you would use that strength against her?
If that woman is your wife, she is your crown achievement, another human being to have and o hold for life. Her every part is for you…to admire…to love….to enjoy….to nurture but yet you would lift your hand, the very hand that used to caress and wooed her into your life against that you are supposed to protect….?
If she is your sister, you could not have been moulded to be the person you are without the support they give. they are the ones who stood up for you when everybody else did not believe. they are the one you cried to when things didn’t go your way but now mighty you have grown… so mighty that you now use your strength against those that would bear you up…..hmmm…. ?
If she is your girlfriend… remember you chose each other…. you did not choose her. This shall be a stern warning to you before you choose to lift your hand…..Just because you have more strength physically does not make you the stronger….Remember the grand canyon was carved by water… If you don’t realise that her strength is in her weakness then you don’t deserve a woman and your lineage should end there…..in the fight between steam and metal the steam always wins.
Before you raise that hand, take a second…. a second to think…..it takes a beast…. a certain type of beast…a heartless, mindless beast to do that. For what ever reason you feel you have been provoked…. for what ever reason you feel you have been pushed to the edge think on these things and……………walk away before you make yourself that creature…..
I realised while going through my facebook profile that a number of my friends are either married or expecting and thought it would be a good a time as any to provide all with some information. It is usually advised to book your antenatal visits early. It is a common misconception that you only book for a place to deliever you baby. This is not the case. Antenatal visits should commence as early as possible usually in the first trimester or first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Your estimated gestational age is calculated using the first day of your last actual period not the one you missed.
So what is done on your first visit, well usually the doctor will will take you medical history to establish whether you have any risk factors for complications in pregnancy, for example pregnancyinduced hypertension, gestational diabetes etc. then some tests are recommended i.e. full blood count or Heamoglobin levels, Blood Glucose an HIV test, tests for syphyllis, Blood grouping and Rh typing, Urine to check for protiens, and other tests depending on your particular case. this helps the doctor anticipate problems and pick them up early when they do arise. For example a low heamoglobin would prompt the doctor to give you heamatinics, a positive HIV test would prompt the doctor to make plans around delievery to reduce the transmissin from you to your foetus.
So you have started your antenatal visits, now what? well you have routine follow up visits where the doctor will assess the well being of your foetus and request scans as is required, inititially a scan in the first trimester would be usefull as it is the most accurate scan for dating purposes. Generally most problems can be anticipated and as such routine follow up will usually pick them up. Your visits will prabably be scheduled for evry four weeks up to the time you get to 32 weeks, thereafterthe visits may then be scheduled for every two weeks until you reach 37 weeks, barring any problems from around 37 weeks your baby is due and your visits are then scheduled weekly until 42 weeks. some pregnancies may go beyond 42weeks and those are termed postmature pregnancies, but i digress…..
Your expected date of delievery is calculated using the 1st day of your last period by adding 7 to the date, subtracting 3 from the month and adjusting the year appropriately. For example if you LMP was 12/10/09 your EDD would be 19/07/10 this gives you a date which is exactly 40 weeks from your last period which by convention is the normal duration of pregnancy. however like I have mentioned anything between 37 and 42 weeks is fine. Well now that you are booked, prepare for your new arrival and enjoy motherhood.
Ps. I cant remember where I got the picture, I take no credit for the picture though.