Friday, May 15, 2015

24 Hours (A Day in My Life): A Messed Up Knee and Legendary Traffic

Wednesday, May 13

8:30 pm:  Gil is home from playing basketball, and limping and wincing.  "I think I really messed up my knee," he tells me.  "I'll need to go to the doctor tomorrow if it's not feeling better."  I know he's serious because he almost never voluntarily wants to go to the doctor.

Thursday, May 14

6:15 am:  I am up and getting the kids ready for school.  Gil tells me that we will indeed need to see the doctor today.  It's his right knee that is injured, so I will need to drive.

7:30 am:  I get the kids off to school, and go to my mom's prayer group.  I cancel my Swahili lesson and our meetings with our team leader.

9:30 am:  We have stalled going to the clinic, hoping to avoid rush hour traffic.  We've had two weeks of solid rain, significantly damaging many roads.  We've been avoiding going to town lately, because we heard that the already bad traffic become atrocious.  But since it's not raining today, and we avoided rush hour, we are hoping it won't be too bad.

The clinic is 9 miles away.

11:15 am:  We arrive at the clinic.  Obviously, our hopes were dashed for a decent traffic day.  One hour and 45 minutes for 9 miles.  That's bad even for Dar es Salaam.

We wait at the clinic.

12:45 pm:  Gil finally sees a doctor, who gives him crutches, and also a referral for an MRI at a hospital.  We grab some lunch and head over to the hospital.

We wait at the hospital.  I make a few phone calls to make sure our kids will be picked up from school and taken care of.  My friend Alyssa saves the day.  I love her.

3:00 pm:  Gil gets his MRI.  The doctor checks it out and wants to order an x-ray as well.  However, the x-ray machine is broken and won't be ready for another hour.  We decide it is better to wait rather than trying this journey again tomorrow.

5:00 pm:  Gil gets his x-ray.

5:17 pm:  We are on the road to go home.  We have 10 miles to drive from the hospital to our house.

9:00 pm:  We arrive home.  That's 10 miles in 3 hours and 45 minutes, in case you don't want to do the math.

Conclusions:

1)  I can't even describe the traffic here.  It's not traffic, it's TRAFFIC.  Yes, I've lived in Los Angeles.  This is nothing like that.  In Dar es Salaam, at peak traffic times, people make four lanes--or five, or six--out of two.  People drive on the side walks.  No one pays attention to stop lights.  Cars are going everywhere.  After driving 6 hours yesterday, I am utterly exhausted.

2)  We'll get the results for Gil's knee on Saturday.  Praying he doesn't need surgery, or if he does, that it can be done here.  Although, if he does have to fly to South Africa for surgery, it might actually take less time to travel there than driving to the hospital in Dar es Salaam.

3)  We are now in the market for a helicopter.  Anyone got a used one lying around?


37 minutes.....HA HA HA.

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