By Kinya Kaunjuga
Nothing could have prepared me for the suffocating heat that engulfed my body as I stepped out of the airport. I tried to breathe as I looked for the concierge. My lungs seemed to rebel resulting in a combination of a loud gasp, cough and sneeze, “GRRRAKKA Kaaahhkkk grrrraaawr aaatchoooo!” resembling an alley cat choking on a fishbone.
As I tried to gather whatever ounce of self-dignity I had left after the unprecedented cacophony I had just publicly displayed, someone close by said, “Eh! These first timers to Niger O! Dey go suffer our deep heat O!”
While frantically digging through my bag to find a nose wipe (it had felt inconsequential to carry a handkerchief since getting a runny nose in 104°F weather had seemed unlikely), I searched the crowd of onlookers through blurry eyes and the sweat dripping from my forehead.
At that moment, I almost cursed being a developer because the hours spent working indoors meant I had an immunity similar to that of a breastfeeding infant. I thought to myself, maybe those military guys delayed my exit from customs to ensure I went outside right when the sun was at its hottest and everything took cover!
With a kinesthetic awareness comparable to a ballerina – which I did not know I possessed – I navigated the baggage claim crowd with my newly discovered sense of space and rhythm. I swerved and twisted through the throng of arrivals then catapulted into a car whose door was being held open by a man waving a sign with my name on it. In no time, we were speeding off into the city of Naimey on a road emitting hazy waves from the scorching tarmac.
I didn’t realize when my pulse had stopped racing and my fingers were no longer clenching my bag. As the occasional breeze wafted in and out of the car windows, the air was rendered with a musician softly crooning on the radio. What I had noticed were the driver’s rapid glances my way that reduced gradually and were replaced by his head bobbing to the music and a relieved grin from observing my quick recovery.
He knew I was on an important mission. And just like all the other travelers he had ferried to and from Galmi, he was adamant to ensure my safety and successful arrival. He knew how much the hospital was helping the local communities find hope to live and survive illnesses in a place where few outsiders dared to go.
In the next episode, we follow Jeremy, our Banda Health Systems Administrator, on his epic mission to provide a groundbreaking solution for Galmi Hospital to use BandaGo as their choice of a health management information system for their busy outpatient services.
Banda Health is thankful for your support because it’s making it possible for our developers to keep building our software technology that is used in some of the harshest most distant places on earth to enable medical facilities operating there achieve their goal of bringing mercy to all through healthcare.