I have created this blog for anyone that wants regular updates about my time here in Malawi. I am currently volunteering my time to the Ministry of Hope Crisis Nursery and Orphan Feeding Centers.  I am a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse helping to care for the orphaned, abandoned and ill babies of Malawi.  I will try to post updates as often as I can. I thank you all for your support and prayers. Please send them to the babies, children, and people of Africa too. I hope in the pictures you are able to get a small idea of what life is like here for me, but mainly the people of Malawi.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

LIVING! with the disease.

Yesterday I went with my friend Chris, who is working for the Baylor HIV/AIDS Clinic. It was a good chance for me to see what he does in treating these children, and also to learn more about HIV and AIDS. Once a month they have a teen camp for these children and some walk 2 hours or more one way to make their appointments and come to the camp. They get a good meal and plenty of activities to keep them busy. It also creates a good environment for these children to receive support from other kids their age also living with the disease. I think in this picture you can see how full of life some of these children are, while others don't feel well enough to participate in some of the more active of activities. The emotions I felt all day are indescribable. As these kids were eating their lunch, a number of them pulled out containers to put the rest of their meal in so they would have something to eat later. I didn't finish my meal so I asked "anyone hungry?", and four kids attacked my plate. These kids have such wonderful personalities and spirits, and yet they were born into a life of disease. It just seems so unfair. Most of them are severely growth stunted and you would assume they are at minimum 5-6 years younger than what they are. This picture does not really show a good comparison of their size, but I will post more pictures of them on my October Slideshow. The children in this picture are ages 13-16. This was the group I had and we discussed gender equality, what it meant, jobs only women could do, and then jobs only men could do. The jobs they were listing were definite "Malawian" jobs, that we wouldn't even have or consider jobs back home. It was cute though, and they came up with some really good things. I had such a good time interacting with these kids, learning about each one of them, and what they want to be when they grow up. It is so sad though too at the same time, because some are so sick you know that they will not even have the chance to fulfill their dreams. This for me is the ultimate test of trusting God's plan, when it is so hard to understand...why? It was a very emotional day for me in so many ways. I can not hold back the tears when I think of these beautiful lives and their will to survive one day at a time.

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