Compromise – Day 17

Posted on March 25, 2012


Over the weekend I thought a lot about Moses and his wife’s health. After publishing my blogs I had a mixed response from my readers. Some were concerned about her welfare and wanted to know what I had decided to do. Others were more skeptical and warned me not to be a “soft touch” from their own past experiences. I must admit I feel very torn, because the one thing I dislike more than anything is if people take advantage of my generosity. I have decided to solve the issue with a compromise.

Today Moses arrived at camp a little more upbeat.  “50/50” was his response when I asked how he was feeling. When I asked after his wife, he told me that he doesn’t think she has malaria; but she is still running a high temperature and is very weak.

During our morning walk to W21, I told him all the things my father, the retired pharmacist, always used to say to his customers. “You must make sure she is drinking plenty of fluid so that she flushes out the bug. She must eat three meals a day to keep up her strength. Force her to eat fruit, she needs Vitamin C. Give her two tablets (Panadol) every four hours and don’t exceeding more than eight in a day.”

I told him that I was unable to give him the money for free, but I could give him “an advance”, if he needed it badly.  This was my compromise. In fact all I was doing was testing the water to see if it was a ploy to get something for nothing or if he was being genuine. I told him I would give him the money this week; inform Geoffrey the director, so that in his April wage packet the money is deducted and given back to me.

“That would be very good, thank you”, was his very eager response. A man who is happy to pay back what he is lent, is not taking p***, as far as I am concerned. I was relieved to hear him agree.

Of course what Moses doesn’t know is that I’m not going to ask for the money back when it comes to April. By the end of next month I will be off to Buliisa to start my qualitative data collection. He wasn’t expecting the cash on a plate, I respect that, and it’s because of that, I’ve decided to help him. You can’t put a price on someone’s health.

He confided in me that his only fear is that he’ll be reprimanded for even mentioning the issue of money to me. I told him, not to worry. “I’m not giving it to you for free, you are getting a loan,” I said lying. “I’ll handle the situation with Geoffrey, but it’s very important he knows what is happening….”

Moses interrupted: “Our director will say, why didn’t you come to me?”

“And what will you say?” I asked curiously.

“It is because you already gave me an advance in January to go to Sudan. I didn’t think you would give me another one.”

“Well it doesn’t matter who gives you the advance Moses, the point is you will have to work it off. So trust me on this one. Everything will be ok,” I said reassuringly.

I’m not sure how Geoffrey will react when I speak to him, but I believe he is a fair man and I trust his judgment. The main thing is to make sure Moses’ wife gets the medical care she needs to get back onto her feet. I am not rolling in cash, but I know if the tables were turned I would be so grateful if someone showed me kindness and understanding too.