Living and working at a safe-home for babies, it's easy to lose track of time except as it relates to the babies themselves.
On a day-to-day basis, the progression of time seems marked only by specific realities of the babies' lives, like how many days in a row one child's weight has increased, or the length of another child's hospital stay.
Overall, the moments that mark my mental calendar are special milestones in the babies' lives, like when a child walks unassisted for the first time, blurts out a first word, celebrates a birthday or goes home healthy. In a world where many children die before reaching these early milestones, the significance of TTL's vulnerable clients reaching them is accentuated. Witnessing these moments is a miraculous way to mark the passage of time.
I first thought of the special nature of milestones here recently, when an entirely different sort of milestone was reached on this blog: 10,000 visitor hits.
While not as emotionally compelling as a child's first steps, the number is important in its own right as an indication of the large and growing network of individuals who care about TTL and what is going on here.
Living in Mokhotlong, seeing what TTL is doing on behalf of children on a daily basis, I gain strength from my sense of that network. Writing this blog has become cathartic for me, partly because I see it as a direct line to all sorts of people who I know can and will help TTL in times of need.
We want to keep giving babies renewed chances at health and happiness. We want to make sure they reach the milestones of young life that shouldn't be denied anyone. As TTL continues to seek new and better ways to serve children in the remote reaches of Lesotho, our network of family and friends continues to gain importance in that fight. The more people who care, the better prepared TTL will be to face the future.
Reaching 10,000 hits on this blog is a milestone I'm genuinely happy to have reached, and I thank all of you for caring and taking the time to check in on us here at TTL. There is no doubt we need you.
Last I heard, out of a national population of about 1.9 million in Lesotho, there are an estimated 270,000 orphans. That's about 14 percent of the population, a staggering statistic that highlights just how many children in this country are in need of critical, life-saving support.
To continue providing that support, to continue giving little babies the chance to walk for the first time or to speak a first word, we're going to need all the help we can get -- and you all checking in on how we are doing, 10,000 times over, makes me confident that we will indeed get it.