The kids in Kabanana are on school holiday this month so we have planned extra activities and times to get together with them. Earlier this week Katryn spent the day with just the girls, doing "girly stuff" -painting nails, talking, playing with dolls...
Then today we made lunch for the kids and all ate together.
Nshima, fried chicken, eggplant, rape ( which is like collard greens) and soup.
The kids seemed to enjoy the food and the time together.
I thought this was funny, all the boys were hanging out on the side of the car. At one point before we started eating I walked over and said hi and Morgan asked if I wanted to join them, so they all slid down and I sat on the side of the car with them. They all were picking leaves off the bush tearing them up and throwing them down, funny but I instinctively did the same thing without even thinking about it.
They were asking me different questions, about the family and kids, everything they wanted to know about the car and then what sports I liked to play. So then I was asking them about their favorite team which almost all of them said Manchester. 2 boys said Barcelona. They then were each giving me a new word in Nyanja to learn and asking about what kinds of music I liked. Then I was asking them their favorite Zambian song so they sang a couple words, and I still didn't recognize it so they stopped, but Wisdom was not too embarrased and he started singing it out!
As we were getting ready to leave a few of the boys that were needing new shoes were given them today.
And when we ( at least Americans I will say ) say we need new shoes, it often means we would like another pair of shoes to match another new outfit we just bought, or the styles are changing and we "need" new shoes, or I have had these for 2 years and even though there are no holes anywhere in them, we still "need" a new pair. But here, when someone needs new shoes, their foot is literally falling out the sides of the shoes and out the bottom as the sole is flapping up or they only have flip flops to wear and those are breaking or they walk barefoot everywhere. They are the ones that NEED shoes.
I remember when we first started sponsor one of the kids, he had to have school shoes to go to school. The first time I met him he so much wanted to be at school he was wearing shoes that were at least 3 or 4 times too small and the seams were ripping at the back and the shoe was folded down and he was essentially walking funny and wearing them like slippers.
So the word NEED you begin to see more clearly in the light of people around you and it definitely takes on the truest meaning of the word.
It was so sweet to see them so happy and thankful. One of the 4 boys, Protasho's shoes were not the right size so even though he tried to make them work and I know he was so disappointed, we told him Monday he would have a bigger size.
A huge disappointment today came in relation to taking Wisdom to get started on his ARV's. As I have mentioned before he is HIV positive and every other week seems to be sick with something. We tested him last year and found out he was positive. We then took him for his CD4 count and the clinic stalled and ended up loosing the results. Time passed and we took him again to another clinic and they too lost the results. This most recent clinic gave us his results and we took him to another clinic 2 weeks ago to get started on the ARV's. We arrived late in the afternoon and even though they were still open they would not see him and told us to come back. So today was finally the day that he would be started on the ARV's.
His count is low and he is in desperate need ( real NEED ) of medicine. Katryn Maureen and Fanny went to get him and when they arrived his mother was adamant that he would not begin any treatment for the HIV.
She herself has HIV ( gave it to Wisdom) and is actually in the last stages dying of AIDS. She is in denial though and will not take medicine herself and will not allow Wisdom to take it. In the past she has stated that she should just be praying for God to heal her and that it is wrong to take medicine. Evidentially now she is even saying that no medicine ( not even tylenol ) should be used. So we all were so saddened to hear this and upset by the mother's actions that are denying her son the right to medical care for the disease.
Monday a counselor from the clinic is planning to accompany Kat and Maureen and try to talk to the mother. Please pray that God would work in this situation and the mother would allow him to be treated. Wisdom is such a sweet boy, anyone that meets him would see that right away and we want him to be around with us for a long time!