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Wonderful tears

At Last a Positive Story From Tanzania

I have written three stories on this website though I do not see the third one. They were all negative stories. I did not know I would live to write a positive one - here it is at last.


The couple lived in a small town in the northern part of this country in a town by the shores of Lake Victoria the third biggest lake in the world. They had been sick with AIDS for some time and when the wife got too sick to continue with her clerical job she stayed at home. Later she got very sick and the husband knew she was dying. He bundled her into a bus and dumped her in the village. He left her in a small house in the village and asked his old mom to look after her. He then returned to the town to continue working waiting for the bad news to come any time: "your wife has just died come back and burry her". He would then go to bury her and come back to the town, continue working and living till his days approached when he would also return to the village to die.


This is the practice - When AIDS patients are to sick they are encouraged to go to their villages and die in order to save on transportation. It is cheaper to transport a live person than a dead one. Hospitals have been reluctant to keep very sick AIDS patients for long because they know they are going to die anyway so they tell the patients "Go home and die there".

Hearing that his sister had been sent to the village to die, her brother was very sad. He traveled to the village to see her. He found her lying moribund in bed coughing and diarhoearing. The form that lay in the bed was very different from the sister he used to know. He did not give up on her though like her husband did. He bundled her into a Landover and drove her to a private hospital in the town. He knew that the government hospital would be surprised to see him bring a near corpse to hospital. They would just tell him, "Take her home, it is only a matter of a few hours".


With a few I.V. drips and antibiotics she became a bit better although still she could barely stand on her own. The brother took her into his house. He knew somebody who works at the newly started ARV clinic at the Regional Hospital. The next day he brought her in a wheel chair. The clinic was overcrowded. It looked like a market place. There were sick AIDS patients everywhere some unable to neither sit nor stand were lying on the floor.


The Doctor saw the patient, did tests on her and found out that she had AIDS and TB. He gave her TB treatment and at the same time started her on the ARVs. The TB drugs are usually taken everyday in the presence of the nurse so one has to go to the clinic every day to swallow the drugs there. Fortunately the Doctor agreed that the brother would take one weeks‚ stock at a time and supervise his sister while she took the drugs. He would bring her back every week for check up

He took her back to the house and put her into a room. He had to have his 4 children share one room sleeping two in a bed. Then followed weeks of care, medication and feeding. In 2 weeks time she showed signs of life but was still unable to get out of bed, after a few more days she could come out of her bed and sit in the sitting room. After 8 weeks, she had enough energy to go to the clinic without escort for her medications and check up.


In three months time she was very much better. In fact to those who did not know that she has AIDS she looked just like any other healthy person. 6 months have passed now and she has continued to take the medication and she has gained weight. Last week her brother got married. In keeping with the tradition in this part of the world, during a wedding ceremony relatives and friend in groups dance to the bride and bride groom to give them presents and so when the master of ceremony called out "It is now time for the brothers and sisters to come forwards with their presents". She being the oldest child in the family came out dancing and gyrating at the head of the queue of dancing brothers, sisters and cousins going to give out their presents. She was in good health, strong and dancing to tune of the South African music that has become very popular during weddings in this part of the world.


She and the group of brothers, sisters and cousins danced for quite a while hugging and kissing the newly weds till the master of ceremony said "Enough! Enough!" I am now calling the next group- the aunts to come with their presents. The DJ provided another hit- this time a Ugandan hit to escort the sisters, brothers and cousins to their seats and the girl again led them dancing till they arrived at their table.


As soon as she sat down tears welled in her eyes. She wiped at them but they continued coming. The tears wetted her cheeks and run down on her new dress that she had bought specially for her brother's wedding. The guests stared at her no doubt wondering why she was crying while a few minutes ago she was dancing and gyrating to the music to show how happy she was to see her brother marry.


I must have been the only one who knew why she was crying. She was crying because she was happy and sad at the same time. She was saying to herself. "I do not deserve to be here. If it was not for the support of my brother and those medicines I should have been dead and buried a long time ago".


I do not know why but as I finish writing this story I also feel like crying. I feel tears in my eyes. Oh! I have just touched my eyes. I see tears on my fingers. By the look of it I am crying. I do not remember when I cried last but for sure I have tears in my eyes. Why does this story bring tears into my eyes? A positive story indeed but it brings tears into my eyes! Like I knew why that lady was crying, I know why I am also crying. I am crying because this story touches my heart. It touches my heart so much because the person I have just written about is my niece - My once upon a time a very beautiful niece.


Sent via Email February 13, 2007 from Tanzania.

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