He’s Football Crazy, She’s Football Mad

It was the first Liverpool FC shirt I have seen in Kakumbi rural health centre. The man wearing it handed over the school exercise book containing his medical records. “So,” I began, “Are you a true Liverpool fan, or do you just like wearing red shirts?” “Both,” he replied. “Ah, but would you ever wear… Continue reading He’s Football Crazy, She’s Football Mad

“My daughter, she stinks”

Every now and then, I have a perfect consultation. It gives me a warm glow inside. I’m sure that any doctor reading this knows what I am talking about. The diagnosis is spot on, you can fix the problem there and then, patient leaves the room happy and satisfied. These consultations don’t come along very… Continue reading “My daughter, she stinks”

Today, the animal I have mostly enjoyed seeing is the ground hornbill

This bird is never going to win an ornithological beauty contest. It has a red, warty face and a large serrated black bill. It is the size of a large turkey. Its feathers are black, but in flight, the wingtips are white. The female has a pale blue patch at the throat, but is otherwise… Continue reading Today, the animal I have mostly enjoyed seeing is the ground hornbill

Relax – don’t drink it

Hair relaxer is a mixture of chemicals to take out the kinks in African curly hair, so it can be styled more easily. Some relaxers contain sodium hydroxide, others use ammonium thioglycolate or guanidine hydroxide. All these chemicals burn the skin of the scalp if they are left on the hair for too long. I… Continue reading Relax – don’t drink it

Today, the animal I have mostly enjoyed seeing is the Leopard

I thought it would never happen. I was jinxed. Every tourist sees leopard in South Luangwa National Park. There are even more leopards here than lions. But after my first month living in the valley, I had seen neither hide nor hair of a leopard. Three weeks ago, when I was at work in the… Continue reading Today, the animal I have mostly enjoyed seeing is the Leopard

Witchdoctor

The young man staggered into my consultation room and flopped down onto the chair. He was grimacing in pain and grabbing at his stomach. I asked him a few questions about the pain, but didn’t get many answers. “He has bellyache, isn’t it obvious, doc?” asked Daillies, my trusty translator. I explained that a hundred… Continue reading Witchdoctor

Today the animal I have most enjoyed seeing is the zebra

There is apparently a new collective noun for a herd of zebras – a “dazzle”. I always thought that zebra stripes helped it to blend in with the long grass, acting as camouflage. But Brian, the senior guide at Mushroom Lodge, says that when zebras are being stalked or attacked by predators, they huddle together… Continue reading Today the animal I have most enjoyed seeing is the zebra