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By Father Joseph D. Panabang
Where am I?
When you have malaria for the first time, you dread having it again. But if you have had it more than three times, it becomes ordinary: you begin to play with it not knowing by doing so you are courting more troubles. That was how it happened. Thinking it will be over tomorrow, on the third day, it got much worse. Semi conscious, my fellow priest brought me to the Holy Family Hospital. I could hear the voice of a Sister commanding her nurses, “quick, quick...” Late in the morning I was awakened by strange gurgling noise, the splash of water, and the cries of babies. I mumbled to my nurse, “Where am i?” At the maternity ward,” said she with squeals of delight.
That morning, the news spread that a priest was admitted at the maternity ward the previous night. By fluke or fate, on that day, only sour mangoes could whet my appetite. “No wonder you are tat the maternity ward,” said the Sister.
Before the Sister could take her leave, she asked tenderly, “How is your head, Father? “The ache is gone but the head is still there,” I said.
Wanting to be sure I have no typhoid fever, I was sent to St. Dominic’s Hospital, run by the Dominican Sisters. Sister Lucaris was in charge of me. after all the necessary check-ups, while waiting for the results, at her office I pestered her with many question from her laminated posters to her seating arrangement. Then she gave me my medicines which were many. I wanted to know the use of every tablet until I reached one that looked special. “And what is this?” I asked. “That is Septrim.” “For what?” that is to prevent you from talking too much.” Right at that moment, the Septrim began to take effect.
Here in Ghana, their English is British – oriented. So many terms are used, which for hose brought up on American English seem strange. For example, Mrs. Daisy Salazar, a Filipina working in Accra, the capital of Ghana, told me that she saw a signboard which reads: “For sale: Chickens and Spare Parts.” To mention other examples. If you want to repair your car, they will tell you, Go to the Magazine.” Magazine is the compound were all the all he mechanic shops are found. “Theater” means operating room. “Tap” means faucet. And in a competition if two get a tie, they say, “We have a bracket.” But the one I found amusing was when I asked my tennis opponent why he was late, he said, “Sorry I was engaged.” That means he was busy.
Confidence is what Matters
“God news, Fr. Joe! I would like to inform you that I did not pass the NCEE with an average of 45 percent.” “What is good in this?”, was my natural reaction when I read this letter from my niece. Below the quoted part of the letter, she continued, “Seguro, you laugh but I accept it.. perhaps I have still a chance. That God I finished my high school with self-confidence.” Then I understood why it is good news. CONFIDENCE.. ....yes keep trying.