September 11, 2007

Long Lines and Young Mothers

Tuesday is the day we immunize children and hand out baby food and formula at the clinic. It is easily the busiest day of the week and rather hectic, with children crawling, drooling, toddling, screaming, crying, and laughing all over the place and mothers talking to each other (in Xhosa, of course.) The line is long when we show up and never appears to slacken. On an average day, we see about 30 patients at the clinic. Today, we saw 58.

Here’s some pictures I took today of the mothers waiting outside:

And also waiting inside:

This baby probably knew it had a shot coming:

Jenny was teaching me today how to give immunizations. The actual skill of loading a syringe and performing an IM injection is one I’m familiar with but I don’t quite think I’m as cold-blooded as she is. She just jabs that needle right into the baby’s thigh. Meanwhile, I was watching the baby’s face go from giggling to shock to pain to screaming. Tomorrow, though, we go to a children’s home to perform immunizations and I think I’ll have to overcome my squeamishness then.


Naoko said...

the poor babies. that's why i could never become a doctor. that, and i don't like touching people-esp strangers.

Anonymous said...

Jesse - One of the things I remember of Ben's baby years is taking him to the doctor for immunizations. I remember the progression of emotions from joy to pain. I felt it too, so much so that I usually left with tears in my eyes. It was somehow more painful when he was getting a shot than when I did. I'm enjoying your tales and pictures. God bless you and all that you do.