Sunday, February 24, 2008

Walgreens ... EAST

We’ve decided I probably am deficient in a needed vitamin or two. My gums are bleeding. So yesterday after we did our first presentation (of what will no doubt be many to sway the thinking in what is definitely an outside the box arena) of a tool for the Traditional Birth Attendants to the area government medical politicos, we stopped in at a drug shop.

Amy, the fourth year med student and our resident Swahili translator, greeted the young female clerk with enough “hello, how are you, how’s your work” to satisfy the social graces. She then moved into the fact that we needed multivitamins. The young woman quickly and easily pulled the bottle off the shelf to count out our 15. And THEN . . .

She pulled out a square yard of brown paper (of cheap paper sack quality) and then pulled out the scissors. With origami-like precision (and I know that true origami doesn’t use scissors) she sheared and folded and glued until she had formed the perfect little envelope in which to put those 15 pills and taped the container shut.

I marveled and couldn’t help but wonder what my sister, the pharmacist, would say should she have to do the same on a day when she was filling 400 “scripts” at Walgreens.

Oh, one more thing, my big purchase cost all of 300 tshillings which isn’t 30 cents total.

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