Wednesday, May 30, 2007

But why to destroy these beautiful towers?

May 23

Yesterday, May 22, was my first day at al-Ahli, it was pretty chill. Today, May 23, was busier. I spent most of the day with a doctor named Harb (“war” in English, reminds me of Head Nurse Gawfe in Zimbabwe; Gawfe means “death” in his language) who was very good. He left at three, so I left at the same time, got the service to duar al-manara (Manara circle, part of Hebron), walked around until I found a pack of Gauloises Blondes and a lighter (five shekels), then found the service (pronounce “ser-veese”) to Fawwar Camp. This time I didn't get lost walking home like I did yesterday.

In the hospital I saw quite a few different cases: kid with a fractured nasal bone; kids with all sorts of facial lacerations; COPD in an old heavy-smoking man; car accident victim with broken cervical spinal column; a baby with congenital hydrocephalus and a hugely enlarged left lateral ventricle (she had a shunt installed in Jordan when she was born, nobody in the ER was sure what was causing the hydrocephalus since the shunt was still in place); kid with a fractured skull and likely epidural hematoma; vertigo caused by otitis media; all sorts of other fractures in kids (greenstick, tibia, wrist, skull), and more.

Had an interesting conversation with Abu Nidal, the nurse I spend much of the day with, about the world situation. Best line, “I am against America, totally, but why to destroy these beautiful towers, made by the human mind? Yani, it’s crazy.” (“Yani” is an expression that means “uh”, “I mean”, “you know”, “fuck off” and anything else you want it to.)

Musa was planning on having people over for a barbecue but the brother-in-law of the people who were coming died suddenly from a heart attack (35-years-old), so they didn't come and we ate a normal dinner. Afaf has been very upset since she found out that this person died, she keeps apologizing every time she flies off the handle at Musa or someone else on the phone.

I played volleyball with those kids again, they love playing with that torn-up ball on their construction site-turned volleyball court between throwing rocks at their goats to stop them from getting too far away. (Picture coming soon...)

(Side note: I think Palestinian kids are prone to throwing rocks at the IDF because they do so all day to keep their goats where they want them, so it’s a natural thing for them to think of.)

Just figured out why Afaf is so upset: her oldest daughter's husband is his mother's oldest son, and so became jealous of Afaf’s daughter when they married (a common problem in Arab culture according to Musa). They have an adorable baby, Kareem, and the grandmother takes him away and tries to care for him instead of letting Afaf’s daughter be his mom. That angers Afaf’s daughter, so her mom gets upset, too.