I can see already that I have so much to learn before I am culturally competent here, but Susan is a good teacher. I have loved seeing her interaction with the families.
Because Susan went to his house last week and he was not there, Allan and his Dad (Tom)came to Amani this week. The boy seemed very happy, and rather unwilling to leave his father's lap. :) He showed symptoms of a cold, but seems to be getting over it now. Tom does not have a job right now, but is considering joining the army. We instructed him to keep us updated as soon as he is shortlisted. Allan was not walking when he left Amani, but as we said goodbye to them, he ran to the gate. :)
Last month Dan had malaria, so it was a relief to see him looking healthy when we arrived. He was so excited to see Susan, and a "mzungu" visitor who was a friend of Kelsey's. Dan told me that his friend Kelsey was coming to see him on a plane in December, which was a minute away. So cute. :) I loved seeing him interact with the three other children in the home, and with his foster mom, Julie. They treat each other like family. It is easy to see that Dan is very well adjusted. He ran to get his folder from preschool when we arrived to show us what he had learned; he is a bright, happy, inquisitive little boy.
Gift was so excited to see us when we arrived at her home. She gave both me and Susan huge hugs. Gift recently had a cold, but is feeling better now. I loved watching her interact with her grandmother. Gift hardly moved a muscle without her approval. They have bonded very well!
Josephine ran away, crying, as soon as she saw us coming. It was a long while before Susan coaxed her outside with a sweetie. Her Auntie had triplets three weeks ago, a girl and two boys, and she looked exhausted. She had to have a c-section and is still having alot of pain, and the triplets have complications as well. One of her older daughters was at the hospital with one of the triplets while we were there. Auntie brought the other two babies out for us to hold while we visited: they were precious!! Josephine's uncle does not have a job right now, but is looking for work. With all the health issues going on at their house, her husband out of a job, and ten children to care for, it's not surprising that she is feeling overwhelmed! Susan suggested that she feed the babies only when they cry/are hungry instead of on a three hour schedule, so that she won't be lifting them as often. She also told her to exercise more to help the healing process along. The auntie seemed grateful for the advice. As soon as Josephine got her sweetie from Susan, she was off again to play with her cousins. You can tell she feels right at home.
Zahara and her mom had not been feeling well when Susan visited them last month, so it was good to see them feeling much better. Zahara just has a cold.All the kids we visited this week had colds because of the sudden change in the weather. Susan tried to sneak up behind here and only made her cry. She is painfully shy... that has not changed since she left Amani! I loved how she stayed close to her mother, refusing to let go of her hand. They have a special bond. Susan (the mom) is moving out of her aunt's home into a rented apartment and starting up her business again soon. This was good news! The only concerning thing we learned was that Susan had forgotten about Zahara's monthly appointment at the hospital, remembering after it had already passed. By the time she took her there, she only had one dose of her medicine left. We will check back next month to make sure this is not a regular occurrence.
While Susan did not speak to us much when we arrived, she came willingly when Susan (Acen) picked her up, and sat in my lap the entire visit. Since our last visit she has had to have a blood transfusion, but she seems to be doing better except for a cold. Abel (her grandfather) told us that Susan has a good appetite and loves playing with her cousins and neighbors, many of which live nearby. Abel told us that when we are not around ,Susan is very talkative and active with her friends. She is becoming familiar with her new home, and knows where to find everything.Abel said that when she is tired, she just comes right inside and lays down on the couch, making herself at home. That is exactly what we want to hear!
That's all for now! I will update you all as regularly as possible. Kelsey and Megan, I can totally see why you fell in love with this place and these people. I'm in love already!- Margaret (I don't know what's with the hyperlinks and underlining... still working kinks out. :)