Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fine, Thank You

Mark and I visited an emaciated, shriveled-up man whose tuberculosis and AIDS render him homebound. It’s apparent why AIDS in Africa was first called ‘Slim.’ The man is only about 40 years old, and has three children and a wife (who works outside the home). Their oldest daughter is about 12 and is his main caretaker. She calls her daddy ‘sir’ and bows a little curtsey before measuring out and giving him medications. The youngest is a boy of about 3 who wears a John Elway jersey (and no pants!). Their home is two small rooms – a living area and a bedroom with just a twin-sized bed and fortunately a mosquito net.

We also visited the Faith Alive Community School, Hwol Yarje, on the outskirts of Jos. Mark laughed and played with the children who ran up to greet and hug us. One boy had the honor of carrying Mark’s heavy backpack, increasing the boy’s place in the village pecking order. A precocious little girl wearing a ragged dress kept saying ‘fine, thank you’ to everything we asked her. It’s encouraging to witness the progress there in just the one and a half years since I first visited.

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