We have had three new lives to celebrate, Rabbit, Stewart and Daniel. Rabbit arrived first and made her demands known early. Our does remain with their babies for three days and then, while the babies sleep, they go off with the herd to browse and graze, coming back several times during the day to feed their babies. At four days old the babies sleep most of the time their mums are away. Birthing usually happens with several mums delivering within days of each other so the babies have company and are not left on their own – very distressing for any child! Rabbit’s mum, Hope, delivered earlier than expected so on day 3 Rabbit found herself with no company – and she told us she was not happy about the situation. She cried and called until we thought our hearts would break, so we decided to bring her into the garden where we were working. She made herself right at home and, at 4 days old she was bossing the dogs around and demanding to share their space. Ramsy and Pippa were amazingly patient and tolerant of Rabbit’s disrespect for their positions in the home and allowed her great liberties! Even to the point of Pippa allowing her to share her bed!
While Rabbit made herself comfortable with us, Fred, who is not the most agile goat, managed to slip off a rock while stretching for a leaf just out of his reach, and found himself stuck between the rock and the fence. He is a large goat and the space was very small. It took two strong men to assist him out of his predicament! He was more embarrassed than hurt, I think! Before Fred joined us he lived in an area with few rocks, on mostly soft sand and grass. When he arrived he was not sure what a rock was and struggled to jump onto or off of the rocks which we have in abundance on Morning Star. He has come a long way since then and this little slip was his first in a long time!
Sadly we have had several deaths in the community over the last few months, mostly the elderly. One that effected us more personally was the passing of one of our beneficiaries, Elsie. Elsie had not been well for some months and the doctors were unable to help her. She was a founder member of our Sewing Club which started in 2012. She was the member who kept us all laughing at her honest and amusing anecdotes. She leaves two young daughters still at school. Please pray for them as they face the years ahead without their mother. The family has very few resources and now have to absorb the expense of yet another two mouths to feed.
When the sewing group was started, someone asked me, on hearing that most of the ladies had HIV, why I had set myself up for sadness? I didn’t understand the question at first, and she had to explain that when they died from AIDS it would be hard. It was such an unexpected question! I had never thought about it like that! Do I regret starting the group? Absolutely not! All of them have had so much to offer in so many ways. Their lives have opened up so much understanding for me and their friendships and struggles have become part of our lives. Sad when members have died? Absolutely. Regrets? Not at all. Should we not be here for each other, despite the potholes along the way? I have learned more from the people who I have walked alongside than I could have if I had chosen to walk on the otherside of the road. Let us all come alongside each person we meet and hear their stories. Hopefully it will make us more grateful and compassionate. AFCA is a true disciple of exactly that. Finding out the stories and walking the hard roads with them.
Elsie and her two little daughters. We pray that they have inherited their mother’s strong character. And may their lives be a little easier than hers was.
Go well and go with someone.
Everyone here at the American Foundation for Children with AIDS, and our partners in Africa, thank you for your continued support of this important project. If you would like to learn even more about this project and others, please contact Tanya Weaver at tweaver@AFCAids.org.
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