Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Look of Concern

We had clinic yesterday in Cite Soleil.

One patient was a 49 year old man. He had a 6 foot pole which served as his walking stick. He was wobbly when he walked and had a look on his face that he is dying. Beside him was a smiling seven year old son who accompanied him to the clinic in the slum.

They are homeless in one of the worst places on earth and live on the street.

The father said his hip hurts and he has no money for food or school for his boy. He is skin and bones and his face would contort from a worried look to a confused look as he gave his history. He may have HIV and a recurrence of his tuberculosis that was inadequately treated.

Other clinic patients told me that the UN had entered the slum several days ago and shot at the houses. I don’t know why. There were at least four large bullet holes in the cinderblock wall several feet behind me in the clinic.

When we left the clinic yesterday afternoon I saw three white UN tanks entering the area. The UN soldiers had their automatic weapons ready and aimed at us as we passed them in our medical vehicle on the street. The narrow roads, some of them which are blocked with large piles of stones, try to keep the UN soldiers out. However, last night after the sun had set, I heard loud thunder-like explosions coming from the area of the slum and wondered about the look on the sick father’s face was as he and his son huddled in the street in the dark.

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