Bad Beans

Hello again. It’s me, Mzungu Jon. Don’t worry everyone, I did not get food poisoning. I am refering to the kidneys, as I am on the Nephrology service here at the hospital. I definitely expected people to have poor kidney function on this ward but oh man…. just like everything else here….it is much worse than expected. Rounding on the neph wards consists of showing up around 9 to 10 am and seeing all the patients with troubled kidneys (one of their many illnesses). We basically go around and say “yep that is what is causing the kidney problems but since the hospital doesn’t have dialysis and they can’t afford to go elsewhere, we are stuck.” How depressing. Last week Casualty (or ER in the states) was depressing but this is even more hopeless.

I often feel bad getting excited about all the strange and “exotic” pathology that I am seeing with these patients. I am seeing things that I read about in books and never dreamed of seeing in the states. Here things like HIV nephropathy (AIDS killing your kidneys) is commonplace, as well as other various tropical parasites and infections.

I hope in some way I will be able to help these patients, whether it is by simply showing them that I care or by getting my University to send equipment and money with the next students. Either way, these people need it desperately.

Well… after a long day on the wards,  I am going to head back to Edge House (our residence) and fix something for dinner. Surprise surprise, i am going to have rice beans. Maybe I will add a little spice to it tonight or some strange vegetable or fruit from the nearby produce market (I will try and get names and descriptions of them for next time).
Looks like it is going to rain again, I better run.

p.s. Katie and I purchased our Gorilla permits, so it looks like we’ll be tracking those loveable mammals on the 20th of Feb.

your medical messenger,



One Response to “Bad Beans”

  1. Arlene Hiatt Says:


    Look forward to reading your posts. Your being there lets the people know that people from other parts of the world care…that God cares. I hope your University can help with equipment etc for the next team.

    Enjoy your beans and rice … and the awesome fresh fruit!

    Arlene Hiatt
    Lincoln City Church

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