Skip to content
December 4, 2012 / catherinebwrites



Flame Trees

Flame Trees. Lusaka

The sun was savage.  We were in Monze.   Stepping out of the shade felt like stepping under a grill that had been turned up to  max.   My pale Celtic skin was frying.   But the Hospital in Monze did not have a switch  that allowed us to turn down the sun!   We had checked the weather for Zambia.  Rain, they said,the rains are coming. But they lied. Either that or the rain-clouds were mocking us from afar.

Kieran O Driscoll ENT surgeon and doctor broil under the sun

Kieran O Driscoll ENT surgeon and doctor broil under the sun


This was our first trip to Monze and people had gathered from all arts and parts.   Alfred, the Zambian audiologist, Pattison the Zambian technician and I were put in a tiny examination room.   It was a room within a room.    The window was high  and did not open.   So three adults plus three patients plus the parent/ granny /brother/ who’d come with the patient, were all crowded in this tiny room.  And that’s not counting the people who craned in to see what was happening.   At one point I found three curious people leaning over my shoulders to see what I was doing.

 The temperature outside was in the high thirties perhaps up to 40 degrees.  Inside  it was hot enough to bake bread.   Well it felt that hot to me.   Alfred and Pattison’s  foreheads had a slight beading of sweat.  I was dripping from every pore.  I dripped so much that the patients’ charts looked like I’d left them out in a rainstorm.  Someone brought me a towel and that helped.   I drank water by the gallon.

“Are you all right?” a worried -looking Alfred kept asking.

“I’m fine, I’m just hot.”

But he kept checking on me.   I suspect he was afraid  I would  spontaenously combust in this little hot room.

“What on earth  is wrong with you?” he demanded as I continued to drip all over the floor.

“I’m Irish.” I replied, ” we’re not used to heat.”

They came from all arts and parts

They came from all arts and parts

I finally saw the last patient as the sun was going down. But Alfred and Pattison who were issuing the hearing aids and making the moulds had to stay on until after seven. They were the heros of the Monze trip. R. Pattison,(OUR HERO) Michael (driver), Aisling (physio in Holy Family Centre Monze)


All hail Alfred and Pattison.

Alfred and Moe

Alfred (OUR HERO and Moe

That night we stayed in the Holy Family Centre with Theresa and Moe.   Theresa made dinner for the whole team and gave us a bed for the night.   I got a room with a fan.   Oh the joy.   The rest of them sweated the night away.




CONTACT : [email protected]


Theresa Director of Holy Family Rehabilitation Centre.   She fed watered and housed us all.

Theresa, Director of Holy Family Rehabilitation Centre talking to Kieran. She fed watered and housed us all.


Charity and Evelyn.Not only glamorous, they're the nurses you'd want looking after you if you were ill.

Charity and Evelyn our two nurses. Not just good-looking and glamorous, they are the nurses you’d want looking after you if you were ill.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: