Friday, June 11, 2010

A dance, a hug, a good-bye

Today the sun rose bright and warm, and the leftover fog drifted away white and thick and gleaming, and the streets shined wet and fresh, and there was happiness in the air and in the halls of the safe-home.

Today was five-year-old Nteboheng's day to go home, back to her grandmother's care. This morning the bo m'e gave her new clothes and a new bag with Disney princesses on it, and she smiled at her new belongings.

Yesterday, the bo m'e washed the clothes and the hair of Nteboheng's favorite doll -- which she long-ago named Nteboheleng -- so it would be clean for Nteboheng's departure. I'm so happy she gets to take the doll home with her.

For months she has carried it everywhere, wrapped in a little blanket on her back, just like the bo m'e carry the babies.

In her daily mimicry of the bo m'e, Nteboheng would feed her doll with one specific toy she pretended was a bottle, half a plastic egg shell she pretended was a snack container, and a hinged doll house she pretended was a refrigerator. She would talk to the doll just as the bo m'e talk to the babies, with a smart, perfect intonation that always got the bo'me to laugh.

It's been amazing to watch Nteboheng's progression. When she arrived here at the beginning of March, she was emaciated and horribly skinny, lethargic and quiet. Her personality was unknown to us. She was HIV-positive but not on medication. For kids her age, a CD4 count of less than 500 is considered "severe suppression" -- and her CD4 count was 6.

Today she is a happy, outgoing little girl who talks up a storm and who has boundless energy and the undeniable personality of an unapologetic and witty m'e-in-training.

She is the cutest dancer in the world, I'm convinced of it, and danced throughout the morning in the playroom. She has great rhythm, and has a signature two-step that she does with puckered lips that makes everyone smile and the bo m'e whoop in laughter.

This morning, before she hit the road with outreach, the bo m'e turned on music in the play room, and the volunteers Claire, Quinn and Emma, who have gotten close to Nteboheng the last week and a half themselves, held the other babies and took pictures as some of the bo m'e and I joined Nteboheng in dancing.

I had an easy smile on my face and was laughing, dancing to the cheerful music with Nteboheng as the sun shone through the big playroom window. The moment seemed so good and pure and simple.

Later, just before she left, Nteboheng came into my office and gave me a hug. Then I watched her form the window as she walked off to the car with outreach, swinging her Disney princess bag and smiling.

Another TTL success story, one that was especially important to me. After so many losses, it helps to have the scales balancing out again, to once again see a result that's in line with our mission: a child going home happy and healthy.


Unknown said...

Good morning afternoon evening Kevin. Wow - I just caught up on your blogging. With the World Cup I have been thinking more about where you are right now. I am sorry, jealous and proud. Sorry, that you are experiencing life and death struggles every moment of every day. Jealous as I think I would have appreciated such an opportunity. Proud because you are my nephew, son of my sister, grandson of Captain Joe and Big Papi. Proud because you are doing good, so much good. It seems this experience will surely burn into your soul and be a part of KRec and your being. I believe there is a God and that your needs emotionally and spiritually will be met. Part of a program I am in is that it is good for us earthlings to believe in something greater than ourselves. Some believe in God, others nature, others something of their understanding. Exactly what isn't so important, but rather knowing that there is some being, entity, power, someplace that you can turn for strength. My experience has been when I ask for help from my God in dealing with life on a daily basis, things somehow seem to go better - I think it has soemthing to do with acceptance and gratitude.
So, my good friend, hang in there. The difference you are making exceeds description. I feel happy for you.
PS - que es "Bo m'e"

Anonymous said...

Kev, I was so happy to read this blog entry. What a joyful moment--long over-due and very much cherished. I love picturing the little one carrying her doll on her back like the bo'me and swinging her Disney princess bag around. We're sending a care package soon--sounds like i need to send along some disney princess gear! Love you, Megan

Unknown said...

Tronng văn phòng công ty với mỗi phòng ban đều có những chức năng công việc khác nhau cho nên việc lựa chọn mua bàn làm việc bằng gỗ cũng hòa toàn khác nhau tùy vào mục đích sử dụng của văn phòng. Cho nên việc lựa chọn mua sản phẩm nội thất văn phòng như bàn, ghế, tủ… đều phải có sự thống nhất và dựa vào không gian văn phòng làm việc mà lựa chọn được mẫu sản phẩm cho phù hợp nhất. Hiện nay trên thị trường nội thất có rất nhiều sản phẩm bàn văn phòng giá rẻ tphcm khác nhau nhiều giá, mẫu mã và chức năng.
Bàn làm việc văn phòng cho nhân viên thì phụ thuộc vào diện tích khá nhiều. Những chiếc bàn làm việc đơn có hộc sẽ được sử dụng cho những căn phòng rộng để giúp mỗi người có một khoảng làm việc riêng và cũng để văn phòng không bị trống trải. Tuy nhiên, ở những thiết kế nội thất văn phòng hiện đại đề cao tính gắn kết nên lại chọn những kiểu bàn làm việc văn phòng giá rẻlớn dạng đôi để tập trung từng nhóm nhân viên lại với nhau. Vách ngăn vẫn sẽ giúp mỗi người có những khoảng không gian riêng cho mình. Cho nên để có một văn phòng đẹp hiện đại các nhà quản lý cần phải chọn mua được sản phẩm nội thất văn phòng làm việc sao cho hài hòa với văn phòng cũng như là không gian làm việc tốt nhất. Chính vì thế các nhà thầu thiết kế cũng nên cân nhắc về việc tư vấn cho khách hàng của mình chọn được mẫu sản phẩm nội thất sử dụng tốt nhất.