Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Ques = Really Silly Things. Africa really should be spelled with a Q somehow because everywhere you go, there is one, and 95% percent of the time, it’s a long one. Fortunately many places are kind enough to have benches, buuut you are still left waiting at…doctor’s offices, the pharmacy, the hospital, clinics, or any other government related place. There is no such thing as appointments here, its first come, first serve, and the rest wait.

For example, if you want to take a child to the doctor, you go to the hospital. First off, you show up at least an hour before opening time. Then you sit in a que to get their health card stamped and numbered, then you sit in a que to wait for the doors to open, then stand in a que to get weighed, then sit in que to get temperature and blood pressure taken, then sit in a que to see a general doctor who will then prescribe you to sit in yet another que of the appropriate “specialist” for whatever the problem might be, then last but not least you sit in que at either the bandage/injection room or the pharmacy, or both.

Today in particular was the worst ques I’ve ever been in. Jenny (the primary guardian) and I went to the Home Affairs office to try and iron out some birth certificate issues. It didn’t open till 8am, but we didn’t want to be sitting in the que all day (ha!), so we left at 6. We arrived to find at least a dozen people already waiting. And, as our luck would continue to have it, they called about 30 people with special cards to come first…the leftovers from the day before they never got to! Encouraging beginning, but at least a little entertainment was to come. With so many people waiting so long on sardinely-packed benches in the middle of the summer, things are bound to get ugly. When the workers announced going on a tea break at 10, it was just fortunate punches weren’t thrown. Before we knew it the police and NBC (Namibian Broadcasting Company) were brought in and interviews taken of the ever-maddening que issue. Well, needless to say we didn’t leave until 3:30, 9 hours later, and forget the fact that our mission is thus far unsuccessful. Next time we will attempt leaving at 5am?

Pictured here is NBC interviewing yet another disgruntled que-sitter at the Home Affairs office today.

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