August 9, 2012
Author: Šárka Pechová
The article is the 1st prize winner of the Mladiinfo Article Contest 2012 in category A
Phil has been too ill to move for two days now. This is his third day of recovery so there is a chance we might be able to move. I am praying that we will. Phil has caught malaria and I am quite worried. We are in provincial Sierra Leone, the seventh poorest country on Earth, where health seems to be quite a luxury.
We managed to find some kind of doctor who has prescribed numerous pills and an injection (which would kill an ox, so why not malaria?). It happened to be also my premiere as a nurse as I had to assist the doctor. Just to be clear, the only medical training I have was the one at driving school. Don´t get me wrong, most of the time we absolutely love Sierra Leone, but the previous three days not so much to be honest.
A text beeped. “Sarka, you have to come, we all dance for you tonight.” Oh dear, I had totally forgot. There is a dance performance tonight and I am meant to be there! But there is a slight problem. The dance show is in the capital, Freetown, but we are stuck in Kenema – a small upcountry town. Freetown is hours away along a dusty, potholed road.
Adventurous you think? Well that is not all. We are guests of a diamond miner who had invited us for a visit. This is somewhat of an honour as diamond miners usually don’t invite visitors, unless they are young girls, I guess.
We were meant to stay with our miner-friend for two days, but the malaria incident has delayed our return to the capital for an extra couple of days. Another text comes. “Please Sarka, we all look forward to see you.” It is Friday, and every Friday I dance with my deaf dance troupe. I met them some months ago when we first arrived in Sierra Leone to work as volunteers. As we are working with the disabled community it was not long before I met One Family People – an organisation that unites disabled artists. The physically challenged are singers and the deaf dance.