Sunday, 28 November 2010

How is Your Life?

“Do what you like, but like what you do,” dear old dad used to say.
I contemplated those words today as I walked the streets of Kampala. What if you did what you did because you had to? Suppose you didn’t have a choice?
No way out.
One of my housemates at Mengo Hospital, Kelly, also from Victoria and myself came across a young boy lying face down on the street. He was sleeping in the shade. On the cement. In bare feet.
We’d seen him there the day before. Hand out. Looking for money. As we pass by Kelly invokes an earlier conversation we’d had around poverty. The issue of HIV amongst the less serving.  The high incidence of the incurable disease amongst the poor.
Together we theorize the way out of the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa is to end poverty. But how? Africa’s not the only continent with poverty issues.
As we scurry past him Kelly remarks if she had Abbey, the leader of the African Hearts’ contact information – she could of given it to him. Abbey has assisted many young boys leave the streets and find hope and family for their future with the help of music.
Good idea I say. I totally agree. To show him a new path. To find a new road to travel on. One without a hill or any speed bumps.
I’ve been contemplating the income generating ideas HIV mothers have grabbed onto. Basket and mat weaving is one. Beads for necklaces another. Sewing up clothing and bags.
Why can’t Africa become the next China for manufacturing? Give somewhere for this young population to grow into.
Next week I travel to Bwera to help out with PODA (Partnership for Development Association). They’re building a school.
I have heard from Natalie and Peter that one of their plans is to build an area where the women and girls can hang up their laundry. Because when the women menstruate they can’t go to school. They don’t have access to the sanitary napkins and tampons as such as we do in the developed countries. So they wanted to make sure they had an area private where they could hang their laundry. Without shame.
Since my son was born, I’ve been using Luna Pads during my cycle. To cut down on garbage and they’re recyclable.
I show one to Natalie. She asks if I can bring it to Bwera so the women can make a pattern.
No problem I think to myself. How easy it would be for them to make them. No more missing school. A possible income generating project?
Perhaps. But more importantly. A road for opportunity. So when one asks “How is your life?”
The reply will be, “Perfect.”

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