Unfortunately, I didn’t get pics today except one. The adults don’t love having their picture taken, and it seems… wrong, somehow, to take them of the dying.
James picked us up at Surjio’s Pizzarie and Guest House (great!) and we got a wonderful warm welcome at hospice. We had the morning meeting and talked through the day, learning we would visit one patient on the way to a community day care way out in the village. After a quick cup of tea and some catching up with Shem, we headed out with James, Christine (nurse), Richard (community administrator, like a nurse practitioner or PA) and Diana.
Visiting Richard was quite sad. He’s in advanced stages of AIDS, with Karposy’s sarcoma consuming one leg. While they had seen him just the Tuesday before, they were checking on him because he had been trying to marry his common law wife to settle inheritance issues, and Hospice had been trying to assist him. The priests at the local Catholic church were ok with it, but Richard’s birth and baptism certificates were in another village far away, and there was no one to send, and no money to send them, to fetch them. While the process seemed to be moving ahead at something just a shade over glacier speed, his disease is advancing quickly. As we left, Christine said, “I’m afraid he will not live to see his dream.” That made me really, really sad…
We spent the rest of the day going to, sitting at, and driving home from the day care. It was held in a clinic about an hour away, on wet slippery mud roads. About twenty patients came, and all were seen by the nurses, and a talk was given (a “positive living” talk on “disclosure”, because most of the people there had HIV/AIDS). They were given breakfast (at 12:15!) and lunch (at 3pm). Unfortunately none of them spoke English, and we don’t speak Lusoga, so we didn’t really have much interaction. But when they all danced and sang… that was awesome!