Log in

No account? Create an account

Тест на качество перевода и редакции первых станиц моей книги...

Оригинал книги здесь окло 650 стр -

Я его сократил вдвое в процессе адаптирования для американского читателя...

Вот получил первые страницы от редактора для оценки её работы,,,
П-моему, здорово...

I found God in Africa:
Letters of a Russian Bush Surgeon

V. D. Ryndine

Illustrated by Evgeniy Perelygin

This book is a gift to my family.

To my wife, a heartfelt “Sorry, and thank you” for enduring the burdens that have been collapsed, by me, onto her shoulders.

For my children, a simple parting wish: Love what you do.


My lack of seriousness notwithstanding, I am in fact a very thorough person. Studying medicine, for example, took me nine years; my Candidate of Sciences dissertation took another five; and I worked on my Doctor of Medical Sciences degree for fifteen. I spent twenty years of my life writing this book.

It began as a handwritten manuscript in a plastic-covered notebook, which I worked on under the dim light of church candles in Voga, a crumbling Catholic missionary hospital near Quito, the capital of the Bié province. This was 1992, in the middle of a war-struck Angola. In recent years, many of these tales have appeared on my blog “Letters of Aibolit.” Aibolit is Russian doctor character, something like Dr. Doolitle, and as the first Russian doctor to settle in the Limpopo province, I rightfully claim that name.

I never intended to write history, or a novel; for that, I neither have the talent nor the education. My goal was merely to compile notes and snippets--stories by the old, for the young, whom I could then invite over as guests. In fact, this book might best be described as entertainment with a medical theme. Medical treatments as described here will lack any practical value, the field having changed drastically. Today’s medical education is a step above mine; young doctors confidently enter practice with spectacular technical ability given the available diagnostic and surgical equipment.
In his youth, Andrei Nekrasov changed professions many times. As a sailor and traveler he visited at least three corners of the Earth, writing down both stories of his own invention and those his comrades told him. I do not pretend to be preaching. Think of this account of my medical adventures as the tales of Nekrasov’s Captain Vrungel.


From the 7th of December 1992 until the 16th of March 1997 I was stationed at the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital, part of the Church of the Nazarene mission in Manzini, a town in the mountainous kingdom of Swaziland.

* * * * *

The hospital is 200 meters from my home. Fifteen minutes before the start of the working day I shower, shave, put on a fresh shirt and lab coat, and unhurriedly make my way to the Male Surgery Ward. As I walk I respond to about twenty greetings and even more smiling faces. This lifts my mood, wiping away the serious “professional” expression I have assumed and sending me into the ward with a smile.
We all exchange greetings: Sana bonani! Yebo dokotela! and the medical staff halt their work in order to prepare for the morning prayer.

The Swazi are marvellous singers. I have noticed that my mood affects the level of enthusiasm in the staff’s hymn-singing, so I try to set a positive tone. “Who is today’s songbird?” I ask. “Dumisile Simelani? Dumi-Dumi, have you already cleared your little throat?”

Dumisile begins to clap the beat and sings, with a powerful voice: Siya kudu­mi­sa, siya kudu­mi­sa, siya kudu­mi­sa, nkosi ya­ma­kosi! We praise You, we praise You, we praise You, O Lord of lords.

The simplicity of the words is compensated for by the strength and intricate harmonies of the performance. It seems to me that ancient Egyptians might have praised their Sun God, Ra, in a similar way. Perhaps this is how the Jews of the Old Testament praised God. The way the Swazi perform their choral hymns reminds me of Georgian choir singing. I have been listening to this singing every morning for three years and I never stop being amazed by it.

I remember my first visit to an African church, a Catholic church in Luanda. The Angolans clapped their hands while singing the hymns, and even danced a little! At first I was confused and a bit uncomfortable (“Dancing like this? In a church?”). And yet, why not? The Gospel says “Rejoice!” And so people rejoice, each in their own way.

At the time, though, I disapproved of the clapping and dancing of my friends: missionaries from Portugal, Spain, the Philippines, Latin America (I was inclined to grant them leniency, given their reputation), and Poland (northern people, so why on earth were they dancing?). Later, Padre Garcia gave a terse, clear reply to my ignorant comments: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

And now I live like the Swazi--let us rejoice! I have already learnt to clap my hands to the beat and pronounce these words:

Akekho' fana na­we, Akekho' fana na­we, Nkosi ya­ma­khosi!

Because there is no one like You,
There is no one like You,
There is no one like You,
O King of kings!

If they feel inspired, nurses and orderlies sing two and sometimes even three hymns. Then someone will recite a brief verse from the Old or New Testaments, after which they give their commentaries on the verse. Our short morning mass is always concluded with a prayer of thanks to the Lord. Any Swazi—man or woman, young or middle-aged—can perform this ritual with great enthusiasm, in one breath, and with no prior preparation.

And it’s not only the Swazi--it seems to me that many Africans have this gift for performing “professionally” in front of an audience. Often I see TV reports from the bazaar in Luanda, or from the streets in Maputo, Mbabane, and Johannesburg: the reporter asks the seller, worker, or student some topical question and the interviewee replies boldly, with no sign of embarrassment. (I think back to the shameless mumbling of highly ranking “comrades” from our government, prepared speeches notwithstanding.

Today it is the turn of one unassuming fellow, Nurse Adam. He bows his head, closes his eyes, and recites, in a quiet voice, the words of his prayer:
Babe wetfu losezulwini,
Babe wenkhozi Jesu,
Mdoli welizulu nemhlaba,
Mnini mandla onkhe,
Wena lome kuze kube phakadze!

Our Father in heaven,
Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ,
Creator of heaven and earth,
Almighty Lord,
You live forever!

(Later, at home, I read over the text and realize that this is the Lord’s Prayer).
Siyakubonga Babe
Ngoba umuhle
Ngoba umusa wakho Ume kuze kube Phakadze.

Sometimes nurses ask me to pronounce the prayer. The first time this happened, I struggled to recall the prayers spoken by my dear mother and those uttered by various literary and film characters and managed to come up with something on the spot—perhaps a little artsy, but also sincere and suited to the occasion:

Lord, I thank Thee
For the opportunity I have been given
To see the sun on this beautiful earth--
The Kingdom of Swaziland!

At the beginning of this beautiful day,
Help us, Lord:

Heaven send strength to our patients to bear the sufferings;
Give them faith in healing;
And give us, doctors and nurses, wisdom.
Excite the sympathy in our hearts;
Make our hands skilful.
Lord, bless our labour.
Please, God, we beg you, in the name of Jesus Christ!

At first I pronounced these words in Russian, which made the staff and patients laugh. Now, whenever necessity arises, I enthusiastically say the prayer in English.

My interest in missionaries in Africa, the Bible, and religion manages to pay off with an invitation. Roger Mpapane calls me somewhere around the end of the dry season in 1996 and invites me to give a brief talk to the congregation at Sharp Memorial Church, on the missionary station within about twenty meters of the hospital. I was to tell them about Moscow.

The hospital staff attended services at a different parish where a South African pastor by the name Paul conducted the services. Apparently, I am being given the honour of speaking to the congregation of the oldest cathedral in Manzini, where services are conducted in SiSwati, the language of one of the kingdom’s national groups. Why me? I ask myself. Why not the other Russian, Dr. P., who is always up for this sort of thing?

Intrigued, I accept Roger’s invitation. It turns out that the Church of the Nazarene is being established in Moscow and the management of our mission have decided to celebrate the event with a speech by a Russian doctor from Moscow.

I am sitting here in a dark suit and tie among a group of similarly dressed Swazi. I am one of two white people in the church. The other is Dr. Hynd, son of the Church’s founder, English doctor Samuel Hynd.

When the moment arrives, I am invited up to the . . . what? I have no idea what they call the platform from which the pastor preaches in a Protestant church. I think it’s a “pulpit.” Roger stands next to me, ready to translate my speech from English into SiSwati.

Just then, children begin to march into the church holding posters bearing words like MOSCOW and RUSSIA. They are singing “Moscow! O, beautiful, beautiful city of Russia . . .”
When I figure out the lyrics I am overwhelmed; tears come to my eyes. Try to concentrate, Ryndine! I must keep it short, yet make it significant. I start with a phrase in Russian: “I’d like to greet you all in the name of Jesus Christ!” After a short pause, I repeat the greeting in English, Roger translating my words into SiSwati.

Then I continue to speak English to the best of my ability.
“I never imagined I would be given such an honour--an invitation to a Church in this beautiful mountainous kingdom in the south of Africa, to tell you about my Motherland, Russia, Moscow . . .

“I’m grateful for the honour of being the first Russian to set foot here and the first man to pronounce words in Russian under the arched roof of the Church!

“Moscow is an ancient city on seven hills, the capital of an enormous country and a home to ten million citizens. It is a cultural melting pot with dozens of colleges and universities where many young people from all around the world, including students from Swaziland, study to receive their degrees. My friend Feligve Dlamini is one of them. He has brought home a Russian wife in addition to a University diploma.

“Russia’s history is not limited to the grave and bloody twentieth century. Not so long ago we celebrated the one thousand-year anniversary of the adoption of Christianity in Russia. And since the last century Moscow has been known all over Western Europe as a city of four hundred cathedrals.
“Before I came here tonight, it occurred to me that on a Russian Orthodox icon I have seen the head of the God crowned with precious stones, and I believe that one of the diamonds in that crown is your beautiful country, the kingdom of Swaziland.
“Now, you can imagine another country among the jewels in the Lord’s crown: My Russia"