Someday I might be forced to grow up. Friday was not that day.
Samuel and Victor were sitting on there beds each holding two balloons. Samuel with his bandaged left hand and missing leg. Victor sporting his full length left leg cast.
The boys beds were next to each other and they had become good friends. Samuel told me they had spent a year living together at SKD, a local sports stadium, and already knew each other. One of our translators called them "hard time" boys. They shared in the cup of misfortune. Victor had been born with crippling wind-swept legs; Samuel had his leg blown off his body at the tender age of four.
But from the waist up, you would never know. The two intelligent boys were giggling, smiling, and beckoning me to come too their bedside. Never able to resist the requests of beautiful children, I obliged.
I was soon barraged by an attacke of rapidly fired balloons. Instinctively, I dove to the floor in order to keep the balloons from touching the floor. I suppose not-letting-thrown-balloons-touch-the-floor is universal reflex.
My willingness to risk the knees of my scrubs for the sake of a yellow balloon, only catalysed the perpetrators to throw the balloons simultaneously, and even faster, in opposing directions, causing me to work up a sweat diving back and forth, while the boys sang,
"If they touch the ground you fail, you fail sister meggee."
After almost 20 minutes of laughter and balloon throwing we had to stop; I actually did have work to do.
Later I took the boys in the hallway and we took a few pictures. Samuel on his wheelchair, Victor on his crutches. The hard time boys.
When we were in the hall, they started in unison singing a chorus they had composed
"Mercy Ships, where people, operate on everybody,"
When we returned to the ward I wrote down the full song. They gave me a few different lyrics to the same tune, so I concluded it's one of those songs that kids change the words to on the playground. Here are the full lyrics:
I was cooking my rice
Satan came to beg me
I said no.
he came to fight me
he gave me one blow
and I gave him two blows
and he started crying
operate on everybody.
The ward has been really busy and very short staffed. All of us nurses are tired.
But my roommate and I both agree that we have been blessed to have exceptionally great patients in the midst of the exhaustion.
Upon hearing the "hard time boys" first live concert you can't help but smile.