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  • I am not sure how many hours one must wait to be considered patient. Does patience mean I should wait unserved for five hours? Or is six a better guess? Maybe seven? I think I am really trying here, trying to be patient but at the end of the day, I am not sure that practicing that virtue is going to get anything done here.

    They kept telling me to be patient and wait--that I was in too big of a hurry but then at this AIDS/HIV care center where I have to get ARVs for our kids, they decided to have a program--a full fledge two hour performance with plays and sing-a-longs and lectures starting at 9am: the time they told me we had an appointment.

    "Madame, this is a very important day for us to commemorate. And if we didn't make all of the clients wait, no one would be able to enjoy our program. Sit and be patient, the lecture will be over in about 45 minutes."

    "I am being patient. I came here for treatment and medication though, not for this program." I was not upset or troubled. I just wanted to be served. I wanted everyone there to be served so we could all go about our days. I was number 299 and I am quite sure that number 1 was somewhere in that crowd of people watching the program.

    She told me to wait 45 more minutes after I had waited two hours. After the kids and I rushed out of the house to make our appointment. Hurry up and wait. That is the story of my life here. The American (or maybe the Suisse) in me dashes from place to place trying to keep proper time but when I arrive I remember nothing is so urgent here, so I wait. Patiently. Impatiently. On a good day I remember to bring a book with me.

    We made it home by 12:45pm after they scolded me three times for giving our kids anti-depressants, held a counseling session in front of at least 30 people, carried out a 2 hour long educational program and gave us way too much medication to last the month.

    The rest of the boys were patiently waiting for us to start eating lunch.
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