6290_505309147570_330900025_142048_2899708_nToday (Thursday) I went out to a rural clinic. This was my first time in one of their "taxis," and I would not recommend it to those with a sensitive nose. I feel bad talking about it, because I really just need to get over it, but to get through it, I had to concentrate on taking quick and shallow breaths so as not to fill my nostrils too much. As one could imagine, people who live in tiny mud huts don't typically have showers or access to running water of any kind. If they do get a chance to bathe, it is often without soap. Then, they cram 15 people into a tiny van and OH MY GOSH!  (Am I sounding like a spoiled American here? Probably, but part of the reason I am writing this is to document a growing experience, and getting over or dealing with my sensitivity to smells is a big hurdle for me).

At the rural clinic, I visited a support group, another crowded room, over 20 people in a 10' x 10' room (another growing experience?). They were all speaking Zulu, so I obviously couldnt understand a word, but one of the counselors was nice enough to translate every now and then. They were all AIDS patients of the clinic and were meeting to discuss the death of two other patients in the last week. They discussed gathering money for the surviving families and other ways they could help. Every few minutes they would all break out into song.  I am told that the Zulu people pray through song -- it's really beautiful, actually.