It’s hard to imagine I am already into my second month here at TTL. But they always say that the busier you are, the faster time goes, and we’ve been quite busy here.
The number of babies in the safe home is now up to 10, with the addition last week of two more clients.
A new five-month old boy has the long first name of Matta a Morena, which means “power of the chief.” He had long, wild hair on the top of his head that stood straight up when he first got here, and I’ve taken to calling him “Chief” even though the bo m’e promptly gave him a haircut and he lost his regal profile.
The other new child is Nteboheng, who is so brave despite everything. She is almost five years old, and is horribly thin. Being the age she is, she is entirely aware of everything going on around her, and is noticeably nervous.
TTL had to take her to see a doctor at the hospital the other day, and Kirsten said she kept saying she wanted to go home. She is shy around me still, but smiles at some of the antics I get into to amuse her.
Seeing her sitting silently in the play room, or eating slowly from a bowl of food prepared by the bo m’e, makes me think of a five-year-old child back in the states being separated from her family. I just see wails and tantrems and demands for “mommy,” and yet with Nteboheng there is only the hushed requests that she be returned home and a stoic patience in the face of being denied that request.
Thankfully our bo m’e caregivers here are warm, and win the children over quickly. When Nteboheng lays down in the play room, still lethargic from her malnurished state, she often does so against the leg of one of the bo m’e sitting on the floor.
Seithati, our almost-three-year-old girl who has really started coming into her own, has been whispering reassurances to Nteboheng – probably the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen.
It’s amazing to see how many children have entered TTL’s doors in just the last month. It’s a testament to how many children here need a lifeline just like TTL.
The TTLF Fellow is a representative of the North American organisation The Tiny Lives Foundation. Based for one year in Mokhotlong, Lesotho, the TTLF Fellow serves in an administrative support capacity for the Basotho charity TTL.