our first stop: Ndlovu Medical Center
An amazingly comprehensive medical clinic.
Their ethos is to provide first rate medical care in the third world. People here are content with 2nd rate or even 3rd rate medical care. It's better than the norm. But they're worth 1st rate care and they should get it.
the clinic, was started by two Dutch doctors and they now have a South African partner as well.
- they have 100% prevention of transmission of HIV from mother to baby.
- incredible retention rates for their patients taking TB drugs and ARVs
- Nutritional Units in the community
- An AIDS awareness program that does theater and workshops and testing in the communities.
- a fully self-sufficient laboratory - they can do all of their treatment and testing in one place - get HIV results in 15 minutes.
- and they provide their services at a really affordable cost.
Here with Clowns Without Borders Project Njabulo we also aim to provide a 1st rate show to our audiences they deserve it. We kick ourselves the first week because we feel that though they love what we're doing, we're not doing our best. We talk and talk and revise and revise.
We do three shows at Ndolvu Medical Center - teaming up with the AIDS awareness program Drama folk to perform at their outreach events.
We do a show for pre-schoolers at the Clinics 1st class sports facilities.
Pre-show there is hip-hop music blasting
the 6 year olds are practicing their moves.
the teachers leading them.
the have better rythym than I ever will.
moving their hips with tight precision.
but Alice and I show off what we got: attitude:
we also do an afternoon visit playing with the people on line at the clinique.
many or them old.
many of them very sick.
people here - they wait and wait to go to the clinique.
there is so much denial about HIV.
often it is too late.
but our games - Alice with her accordeon, me with my birimbao, our first time improving together - are light, change the mood, and we have fun. Afterwards we are full of a new found energy.
Having for a few moments bridged the gap between us, the young, lively, foreign, colorful clowns. And those who are waiting on line. sick, poor, powerless, waiting.