Back in Juba and after my failed attempt to extract a jigger (I count 5) I decide to go to a clinic. Im a bit worried as Ive described what I have to the driver and he has a look of bemused confusion. “You have chickens?” Me, “No, jiggers”. Him, “Chickens”….”No, little worms, jiggers”. Him, “Worms from chickens?” Oh dear this is going to be a long morning. And he is my translator at the clinic!
There are no obvious staff when we reach the hospital just rows of rows of people holding medical forms and what look like x-ray envelopes. I whisper to the driver, “I don’t think they can help me here”. He replies, “Yes, yes very good doctors. International. They do surgery”. Im thinking, “Surgery? Before I know it they will have chopped my toe off.” He adds, “You go pay”. I question the logic of this. “Pay? They haven’t done anything yet! Do you pay for fuel before they fill up the car?” He has that bemused smile on his face again as if to say, “You crazy white person have it your way …….. Finally someone who might be a receptionist arrives and the driver explains why Im there. She looks over at me with raised eyebrows. Goodness knows what he has said to her! She calls me over and says, “You need to see the doctor for some medicine”. I try and explain again, “I don’t need medicine. I just need someone to remove the jiggers.” Judging from the blank expression I don’t fit into her normal category of patient. With the whole clinic now listening into our conversation I decide Ive had enough public embarrassment and politely excuse myself. Looks like me and my jiggers will need to find another strategy.