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THE HIV TEST—

THE HIV TEST—.

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THE HIV TEST—

 

 

I got tested for HIV in 2011, it was not a voluntary test, but I needed a travel visa and it was one of the requirements. While waiting for my results I was not thinking so much about the outcome. Not because I was perfect, fine I had one or two risky moments but it was nothing to worry about. I got my results and left the New Start Centre rushing to submit my visa application.

June 15 is the day I almost left my HIV results at a make-shift clinic at ZIPAM, Darwendale. I decided to postpone collecting my results until I was sure I needed to know my status. My colleagues were neither supportive nor encouraging as they kept saying “Will you be able to cover this event?” “Wait until the function is finished” “Why did you even get tested?” “Do not worry, in the event that you collapse we will do a story about you”.

The counselling session I must say is helpful but on this particular day it didn’t for I kept thinking I might have been past the window period and anticipating bad news was my only option.

Five hours later, I was moved to collect my results by a winding queue of Zanu PF women waiting for their chance to get tested.

And finally my turn! I started off my greeting Obert,the counsellor who asked if I was ready to collect my results.

Instead of replying, I fired a question at him, “How often do people leave their test results behind?”

‘It’s very rare, Zimbabweans are so brave and they are always willing to know their HIV status,” he responded.

I then told him I was ready to collect my results.

The counselor showed me the results, I left the room still uneasy though.I told myself I will maintain my HIV status so that I protect myself and my loved one.

But this is not just about me, all the people who will read this blog am sure have their own testimonials about that special visit to the New Start Centre for voluntary HIV counselling and testing . Many people find themselves getting tested because either they need a visa to travel abroad or for men a spouse is expecting and nowadays it is mandatory.

HIV is real, let us all play safe, abstain, use condoms and stick to one faithful partner if we do not wish to be seated on that bench pondering how we are going to receive the test results. HIV positive or negative let us all remember to keep it safe, these are dangerous times!

 

Happy birthday Sharoe babe!

Happy birthday Sharoe babe!.

Happy birthday Sharoe babe!

This is the day the Lord has made and i will rejoice till my next birthday. I am 26 and still looking younger than my age- yeah It’s the Lord that makes me shine like this.

Truly it’s God who makes me glow like this, had it not been by his grace I would not be who I am today.

On April 28, 26 years ago, my mother had the most difficult labour pains in a hospital in Bikita, in Masvingo province, Zimbabwe. When I ask her how exactly the pain was like she just says “You are a woman, sooner or later it will be your turn in the labour ward,” I have no idea how it feels like but I keep thanking God and both my parents for bringing me up to be where I am. I might not have much achievements but I remain the happiest person because I still have both my parents and my four brothers.

As I celebrate my birthday I cannot stop singing “I will celebrate sing unto the Lord a new song.” This song keeps playing in my spirit for indeed I have lots to thank God for. This is my first birthday away from home and i will celebrate differently with my newly- found friends and relatives here in India.

My birthday also came at a time when the Indian Institute of Mass Communication honored me with an accolade for International Relations.

And for representing Zimbabwe well, I was also recognized for the best multimedia country presentation. Our director Dr Sunetra Narayan said it was for the first time that the best country presentation was from Zimbabwe. So hey I lead others should follow. That makes me an ambassador, right!

Surely words fail me in explaining gratitude to the Lord so I better pen- off and continue singing “It’s the Lord that makes me shine like this!!Happy birthday to myself!!! Nanhasi munondichengeta!

Theek hai! (alright)

Theek hai! (alright).

Theek hai! (alright)

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Theek hai  (all right) pronounced ‘tike’ and achchar (good) are the commonest Hindi phrases among foreigners in India but I only knew these later.

After being told that in India shopping is a success through negotiating prices from taxis to shops to vendors my first task was to know Hindi so I can bargain as well.

My colleague Jackson quickly knew the college address and would tell the auto rickshaw driver Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, IIMC new JNU campus which made it easier for us to return after a shopping trip.

My priority was to know how to negotiate prices since I needed to buy winter clothes cheaply. The first day in class, we  had a Hindi lesson but I only mastered Kitne ka hai (how much is it?) for obvious reasons.

Kitne ka hai?  enables one to negotiate auto rickshaw fares (tri-cycle cars), prices of goods in shops or at least start a conversation with vendors.  

From there negotiations for price reduction can begin with the shop owner or taxi- driver saying “no madam,Rs 100 fixed price and ok Rs 90 you take then.”I would then say “no Rs 70 i pay”. The owner takes a calculator and types the amount, followed by a so- called reduced price and shows you “Yes madam I give you a good price, you see, just for you”.

This best describes shopping in India where the customer bargains for a price. All goods are always marked 50 percent discount and I used to wonder why there is always a sale in India but I realized it’s a unique marketing strategy. But the bottom-line is there is not fixed price of commodities in India, how much you pay ultimately depends on bargaining skills.

As weeks passed I then learnt an informal way of greeting “Namaste”  and chai (tea), dhanyawad (thank  you), menu le hao (bring me the menu), Shubh ratri (good night), theek hai (all right) and achcha (good) and chalo (move) among other phrases.

Now that I am winding up my stay in the land of Gandhi I have to admit I will surely miss Nehru Place where vendors shout “software! Software! madam!”I will always remember Sarojini Nagar where it is much easier to negotiate prices from Rs1 200 down to Rs100 and INA market where 90 percent of customers are Africans. And of course modern shopping malls like Citywalk, DLF and Priyah.

Oh my! How can I forget the overnight train to Udaipur where a vendor made noise at 0400 hours selling tea (chai! chai!chai!).

I had the best experiences in India but it is time I ask Yahan se airport kitni door hai? (How far is the airport from here?)

Bye to the Incredible India!!!

Why most of my friends are male…

Why most of my friends are male….