Thankfully I woke up feeling a lot better as I definitely could not face another day lying in bed. We set off to visit James and Ruth’s home, and were also joined by their Credit Officer from Habitat – Nelson. They have five children, four of whom are their own, and the youngest girl Caro who is their granddaughter. They’re bringing up Caro as her mother (James and Ruth’s daughter) died giving birth to her during an emergency C-section. She was 14.
It was nice to see how well Caro is being looked after – James and Ruth didn’t hesitate to bring her up as their own after their daughter died. But it was tinged with sadness as once she’s old enough to understand, they’ll have to explain the tragedy that surrounded her birth.
Their youngest daughter Nora is very unwell – they think she has cerebral malaria. She’s been unwell since she was a baby, and takes medicine to control her fitting. She’s not in pain, but she can’t walk or talk, and is wholly reliant on her parents and siblings.
The children seemed excited in what we were doing – playful and inquisitive. After a few hours they really warmed to us and you could tell they were happy and well looked after. They’re planning to move in to their new house in April once they have built a porch, which prevents mud being brought into their house and keeps it all clean.
Later that afternoon we revisited David and Harriet, which I was very excited about since I thought I had missed seeing them due to being ill the day before. They had a house full of people and explained that once a week they get together as a community and give one person a loan, whoever needs it most. I found it really lovely as I don’t see such community spirit as much at home, luckily living in a small village in England we still do have a sense of community, but I think it is rare to find anything as close as this.
This is probably the best and worst thing I have ever done, the worst being getting used to the accommodation, culture and long days and the best seeing how peoples lives have been changed by work the Foundation and its partners do. It has also made me appreciate what I have to go back to and how fortunate I am.