Meet Baby Wanele! This little princess is my new little obsession at the respite unit. She has been with us for a little over a month now and will be going home shortly. Originally, her Mom was with us as a patient. She is HIV+ and has drug resistant TB. I met Wanele when she was just a few weeks old when she would come with her GoGo to visit her Mommy. We then transferred her Mother to the TB hospital for more intense treatment, but decided to keep the baby to get her tested. We all waited on pins and needles as she was tested for TB AND HIV. Thankfully this adorable child was negative for both!!!!!!!!! WHAT A MIRACLE.
Hanneke (my co-worker) and I have become completely obsessed with this beautiful baby. We feed, change, bath, cuddle and love her so much each day. It's been a blast to have her around. We went shopping for some new clothes for her too! A friend of ours from Church visited the respite last week bringing an entire new wardrobe for Wanele too! I've had blast playing dress-up with her.
I have actually "hogged" the baby so much that now the care-workers say "Jenn, your baby is crying" or "Jenn, go help your baby." One day, I threatened that I was going to take her home. I asked the ladies if they thought the baby could pass as my child. :)
The baby's GoGo lives a ways away and has to take care of 4 AIDS orphans as 3 of her children have died already. She is an older woman with an amazing spirit. I've loved getting to know her and see the love she has for her family. Her life is very difficult. She is taking care of all her grandchildren with no help. She's also dealing with painful loss and sickness all around her. She works 1 day a week and is busily trying to find odd jobs but to no avail. The only thing she wants to do is provide for her family and she's certainly having trouble making ends meet. The respite unit just signed her up for food parcels each week which will hopefully ease her burden a bit. I have met so many older women who are now caring for not only their children who are sick and/or dying but now a new generation of children (some infected as well). It's so unfair.
The baby loves her GoGo and the feeling is definitely mutual. It's adorable to watch the two of them interact. I will miss the baby when she leaves to go home, that is for sure.
#2-My baby :)
#3-Hanneke changing the baby!
#4-Baby with her GoGo, her little brother and her cousin during their visit