The 3 from last year have a mother who is herself an orphan. She married an older man and when he died his family took everything from her (home and belongings) so she was forced to go to work leaving her kids with her brother-in-law and his wife. The children were abused by their aunt and the desperate mother found us and brought the kids here. She is working in the city and comes to visit often. The kids immediately fit in and there was no adjustment period. A sign that they felt safe here, maybe for the first time in a long time.
The mother had to come back the day after she dropped them off to bring us some paperwork and the 6 yr. old boy hid from her, afraid she would take him back to the aunt. We (and she) assured him he was here to stay. When she comes back to visit (usually for a night or two) the kids stay with her in a little one room house on the property. They are a family and when she leaves, they wave good-bye and adjust nicely back into their routine. She is doing well, and the so are the kids.
The 3 little one who came recently are a handful! But that's usual for some rambunctious young ( 4, 5 and 7) boys. They are an exceptional case as the 5 yr. old is HIV+ and has medical resistant TB. We are not sure if the father took off or is dead, but their HIV+ mother is in the hospital with the same MRD TB and not expected to live. The boys were with an elderly grandmother until the 5 yr. old got sick and she couldn't care for them anymore. The 4 and 7 year old were brought to a children's home while the 5 yr. old was taken to the hospital.
He was there because of his resistance to the usual TB drugs, therefore he requires an injection of medicine every morning. Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) (Doctors without Borders) has TB clinics in Cambodia and the 5 year old was one of their patients. They found out about Wat Opot and sent a doctor and nurse out to check us out. During Wayne's infamous tour, they were amazed at our facility. It didn't take long for them to figure out that the medical issues of the 5 yr. old would be addressed as well as our acceptance of all 3 of the brothers, so they would no longer be separated. AND the 2 older boys on Monday will go to school for the first time in their lives.
The 5 yr. old is not sickly and did not need to be in a hospital, but was there because there was no one to administer the daily shots to him. MSF was very happy to find a place for this very active rambunctious boy. The nurse that accompanied the boys here talked about having to chase him each day in order to take his medicine and shots; it's evident in his actions here, that it was all a game.
He has no problem with the actual taking of the medicine (9 pills in the morning - 3 in the evening) or receiving the shot, but I'm sure it was great fun to have grown ups chase you around and do everything to persuade you to do something. What POWER he yielded in his small frame!
He's quickly learning that Wayne and I don't play those games. He ran in and out of the room, laughed and played around as Wayne waited it out. Finally he allowed Wayne to give him his first shot and he watched the needle go into his leg and kind of laughed when the medicine was going in. No pain, all a game. We'll see if I'll be able to stomach giving him the shots when Wayne goes to the US next month...we'll see.
Oh and I cut my hair all off! It's so hot now and I was just ready for a change. It's not the best hair shot, since the girls had beautified me with about 25 little ponytails...they were not real fun to get out, but it's an average night in the girls dorm.