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Kisangani

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Heathen: C+ | 5 USERS: A-
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Kisangani

Inside a different area, Angelique introduces Carter to Gillian, a pretty French-Canadian nurse with thick, long brown hair pulled into a ponytail. "Enchanté," Gillian says with a slow smile, shaking Carter's hand. In French, Angelique says that Carter will need a translator. Gillian scopes him lightly and Frenches, "He's cute. Married?" As Carter watches cluelessly, Angelique replies that she doesn't see a ring, but that it's never stopped Gillian before. Smiling testily, Gillian retorts semi-sarcastically that she's trying to exercise new restraint; her wounded, brittle demeanor indicates that Angelique might be judging Gillian a tad harshly, for reasons we will never know, because this will never go anywhere. Props to the actresses for giving it nuance, though. It's certainly gotten people talking. "Gillian's an old hand; she'll get you started," Angelique says to Carter, a touch of bitterness in her voice, as if to imply that Gillian's old hand have gotten a lot of men started. Yet again, I smell backstory that we'll likely never hear. I hate that smell. It smells like fish. "Don't let him kill anyone," Angelique Frenches. "I'll do my best," Gillian replies. Carter just smiles and pretends he doesn't care that he can't understand a word of this.

"She seems great," Carter observes, watching Angelique leave. "She is," Gillian replies, expositing that Angelique is from Bombay and has been in Congo six years. We also learn that there are four doctors, including Carter; two hundred patients spread across six wards; and five nurses. Thank god I can zip through the exposition. Carter chuckles, which Gillian hears, shooting him a quizzical look. "It's just that the nurses back home are always complaining about their patient load, and it's usually about eight," he explains. "Also, they're either litigious, boozy and unstable, or wearing pageboy haircuts." Gillian sighs, "I wouldn't use the conditions here as a positive example of anything." Yeah, like Carter was going to run back to County and suggest outdoor wards and minimal medicine. Although it'd probably only be one or two steps down from County's current standard of care.

Carter and Gillian enter a room teeming with people. "What ward is this?" Carter asks. "This is Admitting," she replies. Carter's jaw drops into Stunned Look #14: That Wasn't The Answer I Was Expecting.

Working with Gillian, who translates the French, Carter diagnoses malaria in a little girl and prescribes two tablets of Whatever Drug. "We'll fix you right up," Carter says sweetly, patting the girl on the back as her mother scoops her up and leaves. "She doesn't get a bed?" Carter asks. "For simple malaria, no," Gillian replies. Carter's face twists into Stunned Look #3: What's Simple About Malaria?

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