Monday, February 27, 2006

My Life in Perspective

I am doing some dissertation reading and cannot stop my thoughts from spiralling out of context and out of bounds of the given tasks. Some days AIDS is my dissertation topic, the source of stress and a data logic complexity. Other days it feels like a calling. Some days I can write endlessly on viral treatments, other days the words refuse to come out. So today, I need to borrow from someone else--- someone more afflicted, more kind, more apt to literally scoop up dying children who everyone scorns, not just read about them.

April 2004, Sister Priscilla Dlamini, a 55-year old nurse of Gingindlovu, South Africa:
Sister Priscilla opened the Holy Cross AIDS Hospice because so many people dying from AIDS were being left in the sugar cane fields by their families for clinic workers to find. She reminds, "People come home from Durban and other cities to die. But relatives do not accept them. They chase them away or dump them on the edge of the sugar cane plantations and we go around picking them up and bring them here. Some of the dying children arrive at the hospice with nothing, not even identification documents. We give them a stone to hold before they die, and tell the children, 'your mother held this stone.'"

I want to tell a small white lie and give a dying child some comfort.

Intellectually, I understand how people fear disease and still believe, much against the face of scientific evidence, that HIV can be transmitted through the air or through sharing food or through hugging your child. But even if I was scared and ashamed, I'd like to think that I wouldn't abandon my child to die alone, starving, in a sugar cane field.

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