Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants:
Mindful Practice

Mpulungu Hall

Wark, Matt MMSc, PA‐C

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Matt Wark, MMSc, PA‐C, wrote this poem while he was a PA student at Yale doing a research fellowship in malaria. He was in the Northern Province of Zambia in a town called Mpulungu, the only port town in Zambia on Lake Tanganyika, with an approximately 50% HIV infection rate. Mzungu means white man.

Flies all green and buzz'n in this dungeon of despair.

Waiting as they lick their wings at the suffering minds down here.

Stale air is hot and rank—diseased, thick, humid. Move swift Mzungu, do not breathe, do not breathe! Hall too narrow, sweat‐soaked bodies, babies cry, old men stare blindly through glaucoma eyes.

Alas, give in… breathe deep.

Dark air burns the lungs with the pain of shackles, chains, HIV and malaria. Mzungu stop, you are with them. You are their brother.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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