Thursday, September 24, 2009

Illela, again

And here I am...again! Probably would've come to Illela
anyway to see Habi and Salamu and their babes, and then ended up bringing another woman and her baby this morning too. Enter Hawali and her son, Abdu Lawa'asu. But first- the really good news- Habi and Samsiya get to go home! Samsiya is now bright eyed and has a round face, and Habi is radiant and relieved. The two of them will come home with us in the truck this afternoon. So that leaves Salamu and her son Abdu Zaidi, who is also looking great. I never knew you could get chubby cheeks in 6 days; apparently, with Hajara's attentive help, you can. I wouldn't be surprised if Salamu gets to come home next week.

Hawali, the new arrival, is a gorgeous young mother. A few days ago,
Gwallo came over and said she wanted me to visit her that afternoon (you may remember Gwallo- she's a firecracker on the grain bank committee and I've mentioned her here before). My first thought was 'aw shit, what have I done now?' I thought I was in trouble...I almost didn't go to her house. But I did, and she sent for Hawali, who brought her son, who is very sick. He's 9 months old, and has the familiar signs and history of malnutrition/dehydration/illness that ruin little kids here: diarrhea that started 2 months ago, causing severe weight and water loss. To try to speak objectively- these babies come to resemble insects more than they resemble babies. Fragile little limbs, ribs, no butt, thin skin hanging off of their stick legs, hollowed eyes, skull...I will not take pictures of the sick babies, but I'll send some of the recovered ones. Deal?

So- you know the drill now, if you've been reading these entries for
the last few weeks. Pack everybody up and head to what I am fondly referring to in my head as Hajara's Haven. Hajara, nurse of nurses, who knows when to yell at you and when to praise you. I think this woman may be an angel. Scratch that, she is. Hawali and her son are settled in the infant malnutrition ward, and I'll swing by to see them again before leaving Illela. Hajara warned them that they will be there for awhile; Abdu Lawa'asu weighs 4.4 kg and should weigh 6, so he's got a ways to go.

1 comment:

Ann said...

The little kid with the big stomach. I used to see native children like that when I was growing up in Borneo.

When is your daughter coming home?