First of all I would like to tell you about the progress of the construction work, namely very well. My husband Aziz is making the buildings shoot out of the ground just like mushrooms after rainfall. Last time I promised you to tell you about our children having cancer. I shall postpone this up to the next trimester-Newsletter. During the last months I was confronted with 3 cases of fates, which touched me deeply, but made me be thankful for being able to be here and do what fulfils me most. That is the reason why this time I decided to tell you the stories of these 3 persons.
ISMAEL Ismael came to us last November - ill, emaciated to the bones and dying. He was only 16 years old. He was accompanied by his grandfather, an ex-colonel in the army. He told us that Ismael’s father has disappeared, his mother and grandmother died and he is the only one who can look after Ismael. He said further “Madame, I can’t any more, I tried but now I give up, although that is not my nature; but really I can’t any more”. Who can’t take him seriously? Surely not me. We made a HIV-test on Ismael and he was positive. We put him in the hospice. Since then he is with us and is more near to death than being alive. We know that we can’t cure him; he too knows it. He has such courage and strength, which amaze us again and again. He weighs only 25 kilo and like all the kids facing death, is very mature for his age. He keeps on asking us how is it “there, high up?” We answer him truthfully and tell him that we don’t know it; but he will surely not suffer from any pain up there. He eats rarely anything and sleeps a lot. But now and then, when we organise some celebration, he laughs for a change. He does not have the energy to laugh. What he needs most is love and that he shows us also. When we take him in our laps, he looks at us with his big eyes and just simply says “thank you”
He is with us since 6 months, struggling between live and death
CHRISTINA Christina was with us from the age of eight up to the time she was twenty. After her apprenticeship as a tailor, she wanted to go back to her grandmother. They loved each other very much. Unfortunately her grandmother died shortly afterward and she had to move to an aunt, who didn’t treat her well. Then she became pregnant and when her baby Yvan was born, her aunt threw her out of the house. After this Christina soon became very ill as she didn’t take any Aids- medicines. At the end she had no one but her baby Yvan. Unfortunately she came to us very very late and weighed hardly 30 Kilo and looked like a dead person. She said “Mother, I like to come home and want to die among my brothers and sisters”. That was difficult to arrange as she had highly infectious tuberculoses. We found a solution and made a room free for her, where we could isolate her. Christina died only after three days hardly being 25 years old. Before she died, she said to me “Madam, I know I must go now. Thanks that you loved me. Please look after my baby”.
She didn’t die alone. She died with dignity, in her old house surrounded by people whom she loved and grew up with. All the people present including the youngsters, for whom she was like a sister for all the ten years she was with us, stood around her bed carrying a mouth- protection. We all looked like inhabitants of Mars, but we were present and gave her company with love and prayers and with the promise to look after the future of Yvan. We will look after him, who very luckily - just like a wonder- was neither HIV- positive nor had tuberculosis, but absolutely healthy. We will look for a loving family, who will adopt him, where he will grow up happily. This I promised Christina and this promise I shall keep.
Christina with us in the year 2007.
Now the story, which is close to my heart: it was late afternoon. I was totally tired after my consultation- time with 200 patients in our Social Consultation office and I was sitting in front of the closed office in the courtyard of the center and was talking with our Chief- doctor N’Da, who sat beside me. Over his shoulder I saw someone coming in the courtyard. As I didn’t have my spectacle on, only after few seconds I realised that it was a woman, who was coming to us scrawling on all four. I said to Dr. N’Da “Oh, no, not one more difficult case, I can’t take it anymore”. Now Dr. N’Da turned around to see.
The lady was approximately 40 years old and was completely dressed in black. On her hands she had strand- sandals. Her knees were wrapped with rags. She crawled towards us on all four. I stood up and went towards her. She sat down in front of me and greeted me with my name “Good day, Madame Lotti”.
“Good day, you know my name. Tell me, what is your name?”
“Good day, Aminata, can I help you?”
“No, I come to help you” she said and started praying.
So Aminata sat beside me on the ground and prayed. Wonderful, full of respect for God and with a glare on her face, which fascinated me. I sat beside her on the ground and thanked her for praying that I shall stay healthy and my energy will never leave me.
Then I asked her: “Have you no grudge against HIM, up there, Aminata?”
She wondered “Why should I have grudge?”
“As HE gave you such a miserable life that you even have to scrawl on all four“.
“HE gave me the life; He gave me the oportunity to provide for myself, my eight kids and my blind husband. Every morning, when I get up, I thank HIM for that”.
I couldn’t believe it; I HAD to provoke her to understand her.
“Amanata, what do you mean by saying that when you stay up in the morning. You can’t even stay up”.
“No, that I can’t, but I don’t have to able to do that. For a good life one does not have to stand up”.
“And how do you live? “
“In the morning I let myself glide on the floor from my mat; then I turn my head from left to right and from right to left and then I pray. I thank for the day and then I go to the market and sit in front of the mosque and continue my prayers there”.
“If you want to call it so; yes. For me prayer is just like as I prayed for you. I pray to God that all the people stay well”.
“Any you can live from that?”
“Yes, every day I get so much that I can provide food for my children and my blind husband; my children can even go to school”.
I never saw such a proud face of a mother.
“Aminata, so you don’t want anything from me? “
“No, Madame Lotti, I just wanted to thank you for everything you do here for the people”.
“Aminata, have you at least one dream although your life is perfectly ok as it is?”.
“Yes, one dream I have and that is that one day, I shall be able to build a small sales- stall for my oldest son“.
She hugged me and scrawled across the courtyard in all four. I shouted at her “Aminata, come again soon, people like you give us courage, strength, confidence and hope”. She turned around, nodded, smiled and “went” away.
It was dead silent in the courtyard; the employees, who were still there, Dr. N’Da and I, we all were like petrified and then some of us started crying - naturally me including - out of humility, gratitude thankfulness having come across a person with such endless happiness in her heart and to get such a lesson. It became deadly quiet in our courtyard, the employees who were still there, Doctor N'Da I, we were all petrified and then some of us - of course I also - started to cry. From humility, gratitude and such immense joy in our heart for having received such a lesson.
And she came again! Few days later, Aminata scrawled in the courtyard with such pride and humbleness that 200 people waiting in front of the office for treatment, made a passage free for her, just like it is done for a Queen. Once again it became very silent. I went towards her, sat beside her on the ground and talked to her as though the world didn’t exist around us. As she left us, I asked one of our social worker to follow her to her hut and to find out how she lives. What he reported, confirmed what she told us. Her husband is blind and later we found out that he had cancer of the prostrate. Her kids, except for the youngest one went to school. What he also found is that she had not paid her rent for six months and she was threatened to be thrown out of the hut. With a blind husband, 8 kids and someone, who had to scrawl around will NEVER find another place to live; so we offer her our assistance.
That was of utmost importance that we offered her help instead of her having to ask for help, so that her dignity was not damaged. Now she lives very near to us and we – that I promise you - will watch her and her family and fulfil her biggest dream. For that we are here. For that - thanks to you- we are here.
Dear Sponsors, I embrace you heartily and wish you love, energy and happiness. Most of all I thank you wholeheartedly for your help. Let God guides you too!
PS: Ismael died in the early morning of 4th June at 1.30 am. I am sure that he is better off now.