This morning Lungelo was waiting for us at our Primary School. He brought his University of Swaziland application and asked for help with the $30 fee. WE ARE SO PROUD of our little (enormously tall) boy who has been in the GHFP network for 7 years and has worked so hard in school to become one of about 9 that will make it into university from his school. We are celebrating tomorrow with a dinner in Mbabane – I cannot wait for him to become an accountant. He wants to minor in finance and use part of his salary to support future GHFP elementary and high school students!
Then, we fetched Mazwi from school and went to his house to get his medical booklet (in Swaziland there’s no such thing as electronic medical records). I asked him which tablets he was currently taking to see his adherence (whether he was actually taking the tablets). He brought out a Monday – Friday pill container but it’s Thursday and he was only on Tuesday’s pills…and inside the pills were not labeled and he had no idea what they were. I asked if he had the original bottles they came in and suddenly he bee-lined toward the 9 foot tall maize field his amazing brother Samkelo planted. As he’s kicking around in the weeds, I wondered what he was doing; then soon he uncovered the old pill containers he had discarded. We then went to a satellite clinic and joined in the queue of people waiting to be seen by the single nurse on duty (no doctors ever work there). This was after paying only 5 rands (52 cents) for our visit. The nurse prescribed 5 medications to him including a deworming pill, antibiotic, calamine lotion, allergex (allergy pill), and a pain killer – all to be taken in different amounts at different times of the day with and without food. How is this kid who disposes of pill containers in the corn field going to accomplish this?? The doctor said that the rash could be from allergies or from starting to reject his ARV/HIV medication. I am praying for the prior. They will have to test his CD4 count to uncover the cause.
We then went to drop food at the child-headed homes (thanks Mitali/FOODOM). As we were finishing and leaving the community 3 little boys came running up to the car asking for rides home and saying that they knew Mazwi. Ty said that we should take them because they were smart enough to know the key to my heart. We drove them 3 miles up the steepest hill wondering how these tiny (and one was very sick with facial lesions from AIDS) kids made this trek every day.
Tomorrow is our last full day here – I can hardly believe it! There is so much left to do that I will have to postpone until our upcoming May service-learning trip including wiring our New Hope school for electricity, building a kitchen to cook our school lunch for the New Hope orphans, making tote bags with the Sandra Lee orphans, and supplying desks and chairs at eLangeni Primary School (right now the kids are sharing chairs and desks due to the inadequate number). If you’d like to donate to any of the programs mentioned above – WE NEED YOUR HELP!! Any amount will go a long way here for our kiddos. You can mail a check to 2436 N Alabama Street, Indianapolis IN 46205 or you can donate securely online: www.ifightpoverty.org/donate.html And of course, all donations are tax deductible.