Becca’s Blog

As with any new job, residence, or relationship, finding balance is a challenge. That perfect equilibrium between work and personal time, time with others and time alone. But here in Zimbabwe I have two hungry eyes staring at me when I open my front door in the morning. Eyes belonging to a child who already loves me unconditionally. Setting out for a quiet jog and time to vent is quickly interrupted as I leave the center gate and am greeted by four or five children eager to run with me. Not because they love to run, although a few do, but more so because they just want to be around me. How could I possibly be frustrated when I sit down to drink my cup of coffee in the morning and hear a knock on the door? Especially when the hand that is knocking is of a child who has lost both parents, is living with HIV and who just wants to sit with me.

Kristen and Becca enjoyed time with children at Tsungirirai.

Our days never go as planned. Never. The interruptions to our schedule are more heartbreaking than they are frustrating most days. Sitting down to work on a proposal this morning was quickly brought to a halt when asked to visit a sick child at home. He lives with his grandmother and has lost his siblings to AIDS, all before their seventeenth birthdays. Now he himself is battling this disease that swept through his family, his community, and across so much of Zimbabwe. He has been on antiretroviral therapy for almost ten years, but is now skin and bones. When I inquired about his CD4 count, as of yesterday, it was 46 (cells/ul). This number is terrifying.These are no longer the statistics I read about in journals for school. These are my neighbors. These are the kids who come to the center everyday for a good meal, for educational support, other types of assistance, and to spend time with us. These are the kids I read with and play soccer with.

I learn more from them daily than they do from me.

-Becca Roach can be found at http://beccaroach.wordpress.com

Click here to read Kristen’s blog.

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