Today we traveled high and low to locate two more elderly/handicapped in need of assistance with food during this period of drought. Our hope is that once the rains come and our group is able to harvest, we can discontinue some of our emergency relief food distribution. But until then, the numbers are growing. They have come to us at the recommendation of the Village Elder or the Village Chief. As we have done with all the others, we must do a home visit, assess the situation and then determine if we can help them.
We left the house at 7am, hoping to avoid the heat of the day, since there is a lot of walking up and down to the homes of these new ones.
We drove as far as we could and then left the car and began the walk to our first visit. We found an elderly woman who had gone to the chief asking for food. She lives with two older sons. One son has Tuberculosis and cannot work. He sleeps a lot. The other is the only source of small money from casual jobs. There are also 5 grandchildren left to her care, since one daughter died, leaving 3 grandchildren. Another son and daughter-in-law ran away, leaving 2 additional grandchildren. She has some acres but there is no harvest, only dust remains in the field.
The second visit was with a joy-filled lady in her mid-forties, who lives with her mother. She was married and after giving birth to three daughters (one died), her husband ran off with another woman, and took the daughters. He left her because she was not able to give him a son. A couple of years ago she fell and through some complications from infection, diabetes and other issues, the woman’s leg was amputated well above the knee. She relies on her aging mother, well-wishers and the Catholic Church for care. She needs food, but specific foods that don’t impact her diabetes.
Traveling back after our visits, we passed a local church. That was enough for the day. We have some news regarding the well at the farm. The guys “blew” the well a couple of days ago and there is some water seeping into the hole. The lack of oxygen 60 feet below has slowed the work. We are forced to purchase some lengths of pipe to force some air into the hole. Apparently these guys need air to breath!