Wickliff’s great auntie holding him as he waves goodbye/hello.
21 August 2006 I suppose taking Wickliff to the hospital was a good idea after all. Yesterday, we found Wickliff laughing, talking, walking, and eating at his great aunt and uncle’s home in Mbale. Grandma (Alice)’s brother is a retired electrical engineer and his wife works in a bank. They’ve been caring for Wickliff and Alice for about a week. Alice wants to return the village, but she agreed to stay in Mbale for a couple weeks while the great aunt and uncle look for a nanny to help them care for Wickliff. And whatever happens, they’ve committed themselves to being a part of Wickliff’s life. He is so happy! He doesn’t fear me anymore. He told his auntie he likes me. He talked lots. We colored together. He walked and waved. He laughed and smiled. When I met Wickliff on August 6th, he could barely keep his eyes open. It’s amazing to witness his recovery. Even more amazing to know his family is now involved, and dedicated to keeping him healthy and safe. And loved.
Peter’s leg is healing; he’s back in school.
We returned to the village to pay Peter a visit, and to deliver a soccer ball. Ironically, I burnt my inner calf on the exhaust pipe of the motorbike we took to Peter’s home. I asked Peter if he’d help save my leg and he laughed. We went over his school reports. He missed a lot of school because of the wound. He was 4th in his class prior to the injury; he dropped to 15th on his latest report. The good thing is that he was able to take his exams last week. The wound is healing and his limp gone. We also gave him a mosquito net and enough school supplies for a year. I said goodbye to Peter, and hobbled away on my burnt leg (just a tiny exaggeration:)
Faith and Charity drying my tears on my last day at TASO Mbale.
Today was my last day at TASO Mbale. They insisted I give a speech, say something. I wrote something simple and short, but when I began reading, I wept immediately. I got what my sister Emily would call the ‘ugly cry’. I couldn’t proceed. Charity, one of the counselors, took the book from my hand, sat by my side, and read the speech for me. I just sat there and cried…tears of joy and gratitude.
p.s. In Uganda, it’s customary to say “Well done” when greeting someone. “Well done” is said in place of other more familiar greetings like “Hello”, “Muzungu How are YOU”, and “Hi”.
August 22nd, 2006