The 6th floor at Mulago Hospital.
Ces’t lavie; that’s life and that’s how it’s gonna be…
So I have been going through a bit of a rough patch, managed to make my way out alive somehow and I have never felt so energized. So confident and full of the good vibes that am sure there is some sort of glow coming from me even as I walk the streets of Kampala.
How did I do it, you ask? Well it’s my positive attitude. My new positive attitude. It was always said how attitude is everything but I never really quite got it or felt the impact like I have in the past few days. I decided to not let anything get to me. That’s life. It’s not fair. Not everyone and everything is the way it should be or you would like it to be…accept this and you will feel like you have just been reborn.
So you failed your test; that’s life, and these things happen. Work harder so you can do better on the next one. Don’t spend the next three weeks wondering if you will never be able to graduate and how your future is ruined because you will not be able to get a job.
So that boyfriend or crush hasn’t called you in a week and yet you know for a fact you had a good time on your last date, but now he is playing games; that’s life, these things happen. Next time be sure to not wear your heart on your sleeve
So your parents gave you a major beat down the last time you came home past 12:00am and are threatening to cut your allowance; that’s life, these things happen. Be sure to have a better lie next time about where you are going and why you have to sleep over (or you could come back earlier)
So your Bff is hanging out more with other people than with you of late, in fact she is clearly avoiding you and won’t explain why; that’s life, these things happen. Take this time to see if you were friends for the right reasons in the first place.
So you are behind on rent, cut down your unnecessary expenditures. You have put on three kilos since summer, employ and exercise routine. Your teenage daughter says you don’t understand her, try walking in her shoes…
The list goes on and on and on. it sucks I know, it takes time and sometimes its gonna hurt like hell. But you are not alone. Someone out there has gone through or is going through what you are dealing with and they have made it through. So can you. Just know that it’s all part of life and that is how its gonna be. Change your attitude about it and then you will be able to move on to better things
The good and the necessary bad; an important balance.
I am one of those people who you would term as bad girl gone good. And to most people this is a good and positive move, one that would make you mommy proud. But of late I find myself wondering if really, deep deep down, the same people that complained when I was a mean nasty and insensitive prick do not kinda wish I had stayed that way.
Because think about it, if we do not have bad people, than how can we possibly have the good. If your sister is not indisciplined,then how can your parents appreciate how disciplined you are…
Recently as I sat down for chocochinno with a friend of mine, we got to talking and somehow the conversation landed on the topic of my past, having been infamous, the news had spread far and wide and somehow even he who could have in no way come into contact with me back then had come to know of some of my misdeeds. After a few minutes of pondering and discussing the whole issue, he says “I sure would have liked to meet you then…”.I remember thinking okaaaaaaayyy……..
And then recently, I had been very badly wronged and hurt by someone, and as I contemplated my course of action, I went on and on about how I should not fight back and instead walk away, and then my friend says “what happened to you, I sure miss the old you”. I was dumbfounded to say the least as this was one of the people who enthusiastically supported my reform back then.
A few other incidences have taken place in addition to these that have made me come to believe that we do need some bad in order to appreciate the good. It’s a very delicate balance whose wheels must be kept oiled at all times.
The 6th floor at Mulago hospital!!!
Mulago hospital is one of the biggest government hospitals in Uganda, and as it is located in the capital city, it is usually packed to capacity with all sorts of people. The medical department of the most prominent university is hence located within this hospital as this exposes the students to more practical education happen to be one of these students.
On an ordinary day, I will rotate between the classroom, the canteen and the library. On a not-so-ordinary day, I might wander to the various departments of the hospital, offices and other places. On this particular not-so-ordinary day, I was through with all my lectures and I really did not want to go the library as I was sure it would be hard to find a good seat at that particular time and also I would be forced to see people that I really was not in the mood to see. So I decided to wander off into the hospital to look for a quiet serene place where I would not be disturbed by anything or anyone. Usually I would go to a room I had discovered on the second floor but it was also occupied. That’s how I found myself on the sixth floor of Mulago hospital.
It is a private section of the hospital and you have to pay to be admitted into its wards despite it being a national referral hospital. I know this because I have known a lot of people who have used the rooms here. The floor is divided into three departments if I may call them; 6A,6B and 6C.And as the elevator came to a stop in front of 6A,I decided to check it out. And I was not the least bit disappointed.
6a was quiet and peaceful and clean. The view from up here was amazing and there was lots of fresh air. I managed to find a corner with chairs, a table and a place to plug my laptop. It was amazing. I sat down, plugged the laptop, pulled out my sandwich and thermal cup full of hot cocoa, and began to work on a report that was almost due. It was bliss. I decided this would be my spot from now on. I would come here when I wanted to escape from the world and its many problems. This would be like that basement in grey’s anatomy where everyone goes to catch a break. I was loving this. Until this unbelievable doctor walks up to me and asks what I am doing there…
As medical students you are told to utilize any area of the hospital as it is all part of learning, this was my right, I mean I pay tuition, don’t I? So when Mr. Smart arse doctor asked me that absurd question, I was not so willing to cooperate. To cut the long story short, there was a not so civil exchange of which I lost. The same thing happened after a few minutes in 6b and 6c and after some time I was forced to return to my library LL L not exactly how I had pictured it would all end.
Later on, after going through the motions of anger and vengeance, all kinds of promises to myself to make a huge case of this(I mean it’s no wonder the numbers in the medical profession are steadily reducing if I, a medical student, soon to be working here no doubt, cannot be allowed in a particular section of a national referral hospital… I mean did the president know this was happening!!!!?????) to passive aggressiveness and then to resignation, I realized I would probably do the same thing if I were in their shoes.
I mean who wouldn’t want to preserve any semblance of sanity in this chaotic world, even if it meant throwing people out? If I had a place as nice as the sixth floor of Mulago hospital, I too would guard it jealously.
My day off.
It was Wednesday. I had had such a long day. So much to do, so little time, so many people to please and so many deadlines to beat. I had rotated around the city a zillion times in the scorching sun to get some items to different people, I was hungry, tired, depressed and the last thing I needed was for someone to give me a talking-to about not forgetting my roots!! But I still got it.
As I sat in the taxi, on my way home, I kept going through all the things I still had to do, people I had to call or text, things to sort out and stay alive at the end of it all.
I went to bed exhausted and woke up even more exhausted. As I slowly put one foot out of bed and the other, eyes still half closed, and still half asleep, the idea came to me like a vision. A day off. That’s what I needed.
First thing I did was turn off my phones. Both of them. Quite scary as I am a person with many responsibilities and hence lots of phone calls but I was determined .I then proceeded to the kitchen, and made myself a bowl of cereal and came back to bed.
I watched vampire diaries in the comfort of my bed (mind you, the only good thing about the episodes is the sound tracks, everything else I find very unoriginal and dull. But a boy I like had thought I might enjoy it, though now I think he must be gay if he himself enjoys it. I am yet to put an end to all this speculation ;-)
I took a nap and woke up to more episodes of the series. I felt like having pancakes so I went out and made some… yummy! Took time to read a funny book clean and organized my room. Eavesdropped on Aunt Rosa singing along to some Swazi music. I smelled the flowers and laughed a lot.
I had a foot spa(fruit squeeze and lavender)and and a facial(Himalaya herbals-neem and avocado)surfed the internet and got high on a few glasses of Cinzano and did some long needed writing while enjoying the sunny outdoors. Sang and danced along to some really old hip-hop music…I gave my nephew a lollipop for organizing his shoes and put my niece to bed with a kiss. I prayed with the few family members that were around and lit scented candles for my room. Then I sat back and sipped on some more Cinzano, soft music in the background and thought about life in general.
I thought about how things have changed, of long gone friends and future plans, of my dreams and my reality. I thought about the boy I was in love with, and I reflected on all my choices. I thought about how relaxed I felt right now. And then I slept off. Ready for whatever tomorrow held.