Today’s household visits took us to four more homes that receive food from the Foundation during this drought. Each of those we have accepted into our project are elderly or have some sort of physical or mental disability or medical condition such as HIV. Like the other visits, we park Mwololo’s car and walk up and down hills and dry creek beds to find these places. We take a village elder along to help navigate. Taking the elder with us also means we have permission, as outsiders, to meet with families.
The first house we visited was that of a husband and mentally impaired woman. She is approximately mid-fifties. About three months after giving birth to her last born, she had some sort of breakdown and ran away, leaving the 3mo old son, husband and other children. The husband searched for her for months, finding her changed, confused in another town. She was taken to a local hospital but they could do nothing. The woman cannot communicate, is prone to fits of rage and violence. Sadly, the children need to literally chain her to her bed if they have to leave the house, otherwise she destroys what little furniture and window glass they have and the woman will get lost. The woman’s blood family has a history of mental illness.
The second house is the home of a nine-year old girl with HIV. Her parents died and she is the responsibility of the aging grandmother. The young girl sleeps in the bed of the grandmother, since her own bed was eaten by termites, common in this area. We will look into special nourishment to accompany her ARV medications and purchase a metal bed.
The third visit was to a woman, age 60 and her father whose age is guessed anywhere from 100 to 120! It is told that he was a cook for the British Military, taken to India during WWI as a cook. Who knows if any of it is true but he seems sincere. He has nothing good to say about the British in Kenya, in fact, the British were present on the land he is now living. He was severely whipped by them for not meeting their expectations. When asked if he was close to the grave he replied “I’m not going anywhere.” He spoke of his Baptism in the river when he was younger, age 70. His vision and hearing are not good and it is reported he wanders the neighbors’ places late in the night!
The last visit was with a few generations of women. The grandmother has a number of grown children, one lives in this compound and has been taking ARVs for HIV. She has five children herself. These women, in fact most of the households we help, would be in much better shape if it would only rain. Their crops, like ours, have failed due to the drought.