Tuesday, December 1, 2009

World AIDS Day---December 1st

(Photo repeat, but it's important!)

I remember when I first learned about HIV/AIDS. It was scary. It was incurable and people I didn't know got it. Then someone I did know had it. And he lived next door to me, and then he passed away. It was the 80's and no one knew better and I remember his family burning his clothing and mattress "just in case."

Cut to 1999. One of the best things about my Bible college was our required volunteer work in the great city of Chicago. My eyes were continually opened and challenged by both the needs and the beauty of such a rich city. I was assigned a year of volunteering at a home for children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. I remember when the head nurse told me that one of the babies was infected (let's disregard that HIP AA violation). I remember crying and praying over the baby every week while I rocked him.

2002--Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. My friend Julie regularly volunteered at the Mother Teresa home for HIV infected children. I went with her to visit and play with the kids. It was a day full of fun and sadness. I distinctly remember thinking how amazing it would be to one day spend more intensive time in a home like that just loving the kids and caring for them.

2008--Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Same orphanage, same kids, six years later. We played so much and laughed so much and some days I would forget just how sick they were/are. And then the nightly rounds of medicine would come around and in the quietness (well, kinda quietness) of the toddler room, I would think about how precious the kids were and how tragic and ugly it was that they were sick.

...and now when I think about that ugly, scary incurable disease, I don't think that it happens to people so different than myself. Because I know names and faces and personalities of so, so many infected and affected. And it is so very personal now.

7 comments:

Sam's mom said...

And our jobs, especially as those who have seen its devistation in Africa, is to EDUCATE EDUCATE and EDUCATE some more. This is a lovely post and I hope it reaches out to someone and makes them ponder and DO SOMETHING to help others.

Mark and Heidi said...

Wonderful post and wonderful work that you do. Thank you for all of it.

Heidi

los cazadores said...

Beautiful. Personal. Touching.

Cindy

los cazadores said...

Okay, my comments are not being published....weird...

Cindy

los cazadores said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CB said...

SEE YOU IN ETHIOPIA!!!!

Julia said...

The friend of my friend is my friend. La cazadora sent me. Love this post.

Safe trip.