Friday, January 30, 2009

medicine ain't cheap

fallou went to the hospital today. the whimpering was too much -- he was clearly suffering from something. so i told fatou if she would pay the 100CFA doctor's fee, i would pay for any medicine needed. fatou then asked talla who seemed a little sheepish but appreciative. he tried to get me to go because he claimed he had work to do in the pepiniere but i said no. it's not my baby and talla was not getting out of the responsibility of taking his wife and the child he spawned to the hospital! moreover, i didn't want the doctors/staff to see their toubab benefactor -- making us susceptible to unnecessary prescriptions or unpleasant talk.

they just came back with almost 4,000CFA worth of meds. it seems that he has bronchitis (as one medication indicated). there was also some medicine for his eyes and some other syrup with a picture of lungs on the packaging (can't understand the french). seems like he will be okay.

i wonder though, what would have happened had i not provided the money? that's a lot of money and i can't see anybody in the being able to afford 4,000CFA for medication. a part of me regrets having to be the one to provide the money, as if i were the head of the household, but could i really let the poor thing suffer like that and do nothing when i had the means to help him? perhaps it wasn't "sustainable" nor did it do anyhting to teach about savings but i'd have to be a stone cold bitch to let the littlest member of my family -- who can't even speak or fully express his hurt -- stay ill so i could teach a lesson. nor can i even the the lesson now as an afterthought, as i've just found out that we ran out of rice and don't have the money for any more. how do i tell them to save money for emergencies when we can't even have money for daily life?

also, dame has learned how to say NO and the significance of the word. everybody always teases me because it is all i say to the cat. they asked me what it means and i told them. the other day aram (his mom) commanded dame to take off his pants and instead of doing so, i heard him yell "NO!" and then stomp around saying "no, no, no, no, NO!" (with his pants still on). oops. maybe i should start saying "yes" more often. or maybe the next time they ask me for money for rice i can just stomp around and yell no, too.

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