“One Little Lamb”
We heard the various stories of the WEEP women. It was a repeat of the day before. Young mothers who had either been widowed or whose husbands had left them when they found out their wives were HIV positive. They all had children and no means to support them.
One of these children was Sondra. She attached herself to Michelle and me as soon as we met her. We continued throughout the day to tell her our names, but she insisted on calling us “muzungu” no matter what we told her. In Swahili, “muzungu” literally means one who travels, but most Kenyans will call any white person by that name. I suppose, at times, it can be taken as a bit of a derogatory term, but Sondra always said it with such a grin on her face, all we could do was grin back at her.
She followed us everywhere we went that day. During lunch, I held her in my lap. Later, I pulled out some paper from my back pack and drew pictures with her. I tried to get her to tell me what I was drawing, such as giraffe, which would be “twiga” in Swahili, or tree, which would be “miti”. No matter what the picture was, though, after I pointed to it and said its name, she would point at me and say “muzungu”. She was such a little goof ball.