“WEEP” part 2
To get to the WEEP center we visited that day, our bus took us down narrow, rutted lanes. On both sides of the roads were sheds built from scraps of metal and plywood. In front of many of them were shops which sold everything from shoes to beds to vegetables. People seemed to be everywhere, either walking to some distant destination or just standing about watching us drive by.
When we finally arrived at the project, we wound our way through what seemed like several buildings and then a bare yard. The WEEP women were in a small building of corrugated metal. On one end of the building were their supplies, stacks of netting and finished bed nets. The other end housed eight sewing machines, where several women were hard at work. They seemed to ignore us at first, as they kept sewing without looking up. Soon, however, we found out that they wanted to get as many nets made in a day as they could, and they didn’t want to stop even long enough to share their stories with us.
We did hear them, and though each beautiful woman was totally different, their stories all came back to the same point. And basically it was that they were ready to die when they heard they were HIV positive. They had no hope, no reason to go on. Until they found out about a program that would give them an income and help them get the medication they needed to lick their disease. They literally got out of their death beds and went on to live full, productive lives and give their children that same motivation.
I know you think I am making this up and being over dramatic. But honestly, I am not. We heard the same stories later on in our trip. People with no hope are people with no reason to get up in the morning. And it doesn’t matter if you live in Africa or America.