Jaba is now 1.7kg and he actually looks like he is putting on weight – his face has changed shape and he even has some padding in his cheeks. He is absorbing his milk really well and even taking some of it via the bottle. He gets a little tired so has to be topped up through the nasogastric tube but things are certainly progressing in the right direction. The other lovely thing is that the nurses are all caring for him really well. Hopefully they can now see that it is possible for small premature babies to survive if you look after them.
This afternoon we washed the car. As ever, we had a crowd of people join us for this event, including 5 very helpful orphan boys who live in the town. They all live together in a house – well, a room actually that constitutes a house – and a young woman ‘cares’ for them. The woman is the same one that tried to give her own 2-year old child away a few days ago and so I’m not sure exactly what care she provides for the boys. They are aged from 8-12 and are incredibly polite and hopeful of any attention. Camilla often takes them out for lunch, where they devour an enormous bowl of spaghetti bolognese each. This is probably the only meal of the day that they get and it will certainly be better than the bread roll that they generally get most days. Having washed the car, they all took their t-shirts off and used the fairy liquid to wash their hair and faces. Their eyes were rather bloodshot afterwards but they didn’t seem to mind. They enjoyed having the chance to wash and clean up – indeed, they asked Camilla if she would buy them some washing powder so that they could wash their clothes. They only have two sets of clothes each and these are desperately in need of repair. The large split in the pants of the youngest boy led to him being teased by other boys when his entire bottom was exposed as bent over to wash his hair. Many people don’t have/wear underwear.
Having completed our car washing, we decided to get a group of people together to play Boules. It started off as an orderly game between a few faranjis and Gadisa, the electrician but quickly deteriorated into total chaos as the children sitting at the side watching couldn’t resist the invitation to play a game. It was lovely to see the faces of the 5 orphan children light up as they found they were pretty good at the game and were certainly beating the faranjis. It brought an hour of fun and excitement in what can be quite a tough life for those boys.
Watching and playing Boules