Anna, the widow I mentioned a few days ago,came to Kisiizi and delivered a baby girl. I found her on the ward on Thursday, the day I had promised her that I would visit her with one of the social workers from our orphan project. She was keen to go home and was waiting in the hope that someone from her family might turn up with money for the hospital bill. A couple of kind Muzungus paid for her then we offered to drive her home.
It was just as well she was with her or I doubt that we would ever have found her home. The directions I had been given “go to the Pentecostal church and turn right” were somewhat incomplete. I sometimes think our drivers take great pride in getting their vehicles up the tiniest mountain paths which are probably best left to the goats, but we found ourselves outside a small mud hut where Anna and the baby were greeted by her jubilant children, all clearly delighted to have their mum and baby sister home.
The home was very poor, there was no furniture apart from a rough wooden bench and some rush mats. In the garden I noticed a new concrete grave where Anna’s husband is buried. In the Bakiga culture it is very important to be buried on the family land. The size of the property had been reduced by the necessity to sell off land when the husband had been ill and it was apparent that the remaining land would not grow enough food to sustain the family. Anna will have to dig for other people to earn some money in order to feed the family. Our social worker discussed with Anna how we can best support the family, then we left to allow her to rest after the social worker had instructed one of her son’s to grind some millet to make porridge for Anna to help her get her strength back.