One week. One week since I arrived here, and it feels like 2 months.
breakfast at Bagomoyo Margot asked me how I felt things were going, and
my answer was that so far- Great! As things stand now what is happening
is exceeding my expectations.
The most important thing is
that I have patients. So far I have seen about 20 AIDS patients, and
this is what I have come for. I find that the translation, mainly by
Sigsbert, works fine. I can understand the patients well. As those of
you who have worked in the third world know, the cases are surprisingly
less verbose and convoluted, but not always more simple. One still
needs to penetrate the depth of the case, and so far, in 95% of the
cases, this has happened through dreams. The patients seem to love
their dreams; they often become happy and animated when asked about
them. There is usually one significant dream, and if you can match that
to the rest of the case things become clear. On the mental and
emotional level there is much less information than in the west, which
is a wonderful relief! So far I am prescribing on a mix of AIDS and
constitutional symptoms, and I have developed a technique which works
nicely and is in accordance with classical homeopathic philosophy. The
remedies are not only standard polychrests, I am often off the beaten
Most importantly I feel I know where I am going from a
homoeopathic point of view, and that the principles of the Organon are
guiding me in the right direction. I can only hope that the remedies
work well, the proof will be in the results. Encouragingly, one of
Margot's old AIDS cases has become HIV negative and has remained so for
2 years now. There is no trace of antibodies in her blood, she is
clean. AIDS can be cured, and it will.
We have also managed to
get a source of independent CD4 counts, which will help in assessing
the results. Getting the other essential marker, viral load, is too
expensive for now.
Getting enough AIDS patients is not a
problem. As soon as I landed there were 40 lined up. When I arrived in
Bagomoyo we had 5 patients waiting. People are interested in
homoeopathy, they understand natural medicine and respect it, and they
need a way out.
Working in the clinic is not always easy. It is
small, hot and noisy, with a choice of two modes: 1. Sauna mode or 2.
Fan on the neck mode. Occasionally the electricity goes off and we get
the "noisy smelly generator mode". Tonight the generator didn't work
either, so we saw patients in total darkness, which was very strange.
It was so dark I was not sure if Sigsbert was still in the room, and
had to ask him if he was there.
I remember the first time that I
was here, after a couple of days I suggested to Sigsbert to move the
fan to the front of the room, so that it will blow on our faces.
Sigsbert told me that was a very good idea, especially if we wanted to
get TB from the patients. Now I make fewer suggestions.
conditions are not always easy, but you get used to it, it becomes the
norm. Many people live in extreme poverty compared to the west, but for
them it is the norm, and they don't make a big deal out of it. Of
course the daily struggle is there, but it is a matter of attitude.
There is a wonderful joy and equanimity. On the whole I feel very good
here, because it is Africa and special, and because I am doing what I
have wanted to do for so long.
What is difficult is seeing the
parents with AIDS knowing they may not live long, and their anxiety
about the fate of their children. There is often no way out, and many
mothers resort to selling petty goods such as second hand shoes on the
Tomorrow I am downgrading hotels, from a 70$ a day to a
20$ per day. There is not a lot of money for the project, and I want to
make it last. But it isn't that bad- the new hotel, 'Econolodge' is
clean and unpretentious. Otherwise I am pleased to say that my expenses
are less than I thought they might be, because I have used Sigsbert's
clinic and translating skills for free.
The good news is that I
hope to move into The Homoeopathy School guest apartment and start
working from there. It is nicely done up, comfortable and free, but
somewhat isolated. The clinic is downstairs. The school itself is in a
state of near completion and looking wonderful; A huge lecture hall
with room for 300 people and nice offices. Sigs is still making his own
bricks, but hopefully the end is in sight. I am particularly pleased to
be working from there, because the school project has stagnated a bit
for various obstacles, and I believe it will help kick start the
process. I hope to begin teaching some introductory programs soon. We
plan to have the building completed by June and to celebrate with a
Margot has been a very good friend and a useful
person to have around, and a great teacher of all things Africa. Her
'induction course' has saved me a lot of difficult learning challenges,
and I am very grateful for it. I am learning a few words in Swahili
every day, and I estimate I will be fairly fluent in approximately 15
years. We discuss the various issues daily; the school, AIDS, Africa,
fund raising, patients.
Sibhon (pronounced Shivon) will arrive
later today. Sibhon is a Dynamis graduate and member of the TIAM, the
Tanzanian Irish homeopathy project. Sibhon is a top quality nurse who
has spent many years working in the most dangerous parts of Africa,
Rwanda, Somalia and Uganda. She is also legendary in her organizational
skills. We look forward to having her with us.
Tomorrow I am
meeting the university professors again, and I hope to get the research
project on the road. On Thursday we travel North to Moshi, where I hope
to meet several contacts that I have made over the internet. The aim is
to get some more clinics going up north. Moshi would be a nice place to
live and work; cooler, less malaria, and at the foot of the
Kilimanjaro. There is also an international airport and an
international school if my family move here.
So far family is
the most difficult aspect of this project. I miss the kids and worse,
they miss me. It is a long time to be away. I hope that they will be
able to join me here. It will make the project much more viable.
Camilla is all for it, but she has to check the scene out first. She
will arrive next week for a crash tour, and we might even get to see a
Simba or two.
As for the search for the genus epidemic, I am
more then happy with the slow progress. I am trying to remain free from
prejudice. I am taking my time and not rushing to conclusions. My
interest lies in perceiving the collective case and that will take
time. For the moment, I prescribe individually. I avoid the experience
of others, although I respect it. When ideas for remedies come up, I
write them down and put them aside. This is a 1000 piece puzzle. In my
mind I hold par 100, the most Zen paragraph of the Organon:
investigating the totality of the symptoms of epidemic and sporadic
diseases it is quite immaterial whether or not something similar has
ever appeared in the world before under the same or any other name. The
novelty or peculiarity of a disease of that kind makes no difference
either in the mode of examining or of treating it, as the physician
must any way regard the pure picture of every prevailing disease as if
it were something new and unknown, and investigate it thoroughly for
itself, if he desire to practice medicine in a real and radical manner,
never substituting conjecture for actual observation, never taking for
granted that the case of disease before him is already wholly or
partially known, but always carefully examining it in all its phases;
and this mode of procedure is all the more requisite in such cases, as
a careful examination will show that every prevailing disease is in
many respects a phenomenon of a unique character, differing vastly from
all previous epidemics, to which certain names have been falsely
Until next time,