From Mama Kathy:
We are close to several kids who are HIV+. One of the kids that I am close to is Milicent. Milicent is not a person that you would naturally be drawn to by her apperance but she is in such need of love you are drawn by that. She has been at the home for quite a few years with her 4 siblings. Their parents died of TB. She is 19 and in class 5 (5th grade). (She is in one of the pictures below, in the multi colored scarf I brought for her.) One of the marvelous things about the home is that Mama believes STRONGLY in education for ALL kids. So when a child arrives, they get placed into the grade where they belong by ability no matter their age and are allowed to stay as long as they are attending school and working hard at it.
Milicent is HIV+ from her parents (like all the kids). She is experiencing an allergic type reaction to her medication. It is very painful and she is scared, and so are the other kids as the same can happen to them. So she asked if I would go with her to the clinic. I was glad she asked because I was going to go anyway! So on Wednesday I piled into the home's bus with 18 HIV kids and 7 of us adults.
They travel every month to the clinic in Kibera the largest slum in Nairobi with somehing like 4 million people living within 2 square miles! It is a sight to behold I assure you. We drove through the outskirts of the slum to basically an alley to the clinic. All the kids carrying their "containers" (ice cream containers) with their meds inside. The clinic itself was quite a contrast to the surroundings, very clean and neat and pleasant with animals painted on the walls like any pediatrician's office. The staff was very loving and efficient (also uncommon here, the efficient part). It took almost 3 hours for them all to be checked individually and given meds for the next month including specially formulated "oats".
Dispite what they go through they are surprisingly joyful. They sang songs in the 45 minute car ride there and slept on the way back. We were able to have a special treat of lunch at a restaurant in town on the way back, YUM, chicken and chips (french fires)! Some had to bring the rest of the chicken back in a bag to finish later. It was wonderful to get to be there with them to love them like a mother would at a doctor visit. Mary the nurse is really great with them and a very kind lady. I thank God that they have her caring for them everyday.