We let Andrew sleep in, and then called the clinic. The doctor who spoke English (and treated Eben) wouldn’t be in the office until three. Eben and Annelies warned us it would be a wait once we got there. It probably wouldn’t have been as long had someone let us know we needed to sign up to see the doctor. Instead, they directed us to the waiting room and told us “ten minutes.” Like, maybe, they thought we just wanted to hang out for a few hours for fun. When we neared our third hour of waiting, I nudged Andrew to go talk to someone. He found a German dentist. Because, isn’t that what everyone expects to find in a Mozambican health clinic?
Turns out, the German dentist could speak Portugese and he was able to help get us into see the doctor. Less than another hour of waiting later, Andrew was on the examining table, and I was sitting across the doctor’s desk like a worried mother hen. Andrew described the accident, the swelling in his one injured leg, and now the recent pain in the other leg.
“What about your toes?” The doctor immediately demanded. My eyes grew wide and I couldn’t help smiling in that ‘I WAS RIGHT!’ kinda way. Here’s the thing: Andrew’s toes are gross. They have been gross for the entire three years (THREE YEARS) we’ve been dating. He has always blamed running. He used to run 10 kilometers several mornings before work in Seoul. He’s flat-footed. He blamed the running and his flat feet for the state of his toenails. Andrew avoided eye-contact with me and brushed it off with the doctor before he further examined him and ordered a blood test.
We waited. We got the blood test. We waited for the results. We were called back into the doctor’s office to find out something was off. He had an infection and the doctor was going to give him antibiotics and ibupofen and some cream for his toe-nails.
Seven hours in a Mozambican clinic suddenly felt like a small price to pay if it meant Andrew’s toes would no longer be as gross. Oh right, and his leg would stop swelling and the pain would go away.
We got back to our hostel, Eben, and Annelies after nine o’clock. They had dinner waiting for us. Really. They sat around the kitchen table with us while we heated up our dinner and shared the events from the doctor’s office with them. We went to sleep, Andrew thinking we were going to leave the next night, me thinking I absolutely didn’t want to rush anything.