The Story of Ndoda

This is Ndoda. He has AIDS, and he had very, very bad tuberculosis when he first came to Cabrini Hostel to live with us.

Whenever I talk about some of the biggest things I’ve seen in the two years I’ve been here, I talk about how I’ve seen people who are dead come back to life.

When we built the building that is our second hostel for the girls, it was originally intended to be a hospice for sick children because there were not ARVs in the country yet. Ndoda was one of the sickest kids. He had to live with us in the sisters’ quarters because his health was dangerously bad. He slept 20 hours a day. My staff told me that right before I came to Swaziland, they had thought Ndoda had died. They had him wrapped up in a blanket, and they called Henk, who was in charge at the time, and said, “We think Ndoda has died.” They came to him, Henk examined him, and said, “No, he’s not dead.” They took him to the hospital and he made it through to the next day.

Ndoda has been on ARVs for probably 2 1/2 years now, and is responding well, and is growing. The kids, you know, they love to sing and dance and do shows for us, and just the other day, Ndoda was up dancing the traditional dance with all the rest of the boys. He loves to dance, and plays soccer, is a leader in school, goes to school everyday and does well.

Though, I have to admit, every time he dances, I feel like a protective mother, because his lungs are practically ruined from having TB, so he really has to huff and puff to breathe. But when he was dancing the Sibhaca dance, I just watched and thought, thank you God, that this little boy can be a normal boy, and enjoy dancing and everything he does. He was up there dancing and having a great time. What a gift he has been given, that he can be a normal boy.

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