With all the excitement of Christmas, followed by two weeks travelling in South Africa, it feels like it’s been awhile since I’ve sat at my desk in the fellows’ office.
Even though I’ve only been gone a few weeks, a lot has changed while I was away. The days are hotter and mountains greener, TTL’s garden is thriving, and the back of the property has become a bit of a construction zone while we repair one of the buildings.
It’s endearing that all the toddlers haven’t forgotten me during my two weeks away – something that seems to happen so quickly once they leave the safe-home and return to their families. All the kids are looking a bit healthier, a bit chubbier, and that much closer to being ready to return home. Some of the babies, like Tsitso, are almost unrecognisable with how much they’ve changed, a positive sign that he is finally growing like he should. Pelaelo was also able to return home to his mother’s care after a 6 week stay in the safe-home.
Tsebo has come to the safe-home because he is malnourished and underweight for his 8 months (he currently weighs 5.2kg). He has also been exposed to HIV and we are still waiting on the results of his DNA-PCR test that will help to identify his HIV status. Luckily, his development does not seem to have been too negatively effected by his poor nutrition yet. Unlike our two other 8 months old in the safe-home, Tsebo is constantly grabbing at toys, has no problems sitting by himself and looks ready to start crawling any day now. Hopefully his HIV test will come back negative and with a bit of time on the nutritious safe-home diet of 5 meals a day, he’ll be ready to return to his family in no time.
The TTLF Fellow is a representative of the North American organisation Touching Tiny Lives Foundation. Based for one year in Mokhotlong, Lesotho, the TTLF Fellow serves in an administrative support capacity for the Basotho charity Touching Tiny Lives (TTL).