We were out on a home-based healthcare visit at the homestead of one of our hostel children’s grandmothers, who was very sick and about to die. We gave her a bit of medicine, and Sr. Diane happened to have a water bottle on her, so she gave some water from the bottle to the grandmother to wash it down.
All of the sudden, the grandmother had a huge smile on her face, and started to laugh and roll around in joy. She was exclaiming things in Siswati (the official language of Swaziland), and caused such a scene that we had to ask our staff to please translate what she was saying…!
They told us that she was exclaiming that that drink of water was the best thing she had ever tasted in her whole life- just the most wonderful thing. Because she had probably always had to drink river water, which was muddy, with sticks, sand and dirt, and always warm. So to have a clean glass of cold water was simply extraordinary.
She died shortly after that. We’ll miss her, and we’ll never forget her joy in experiencing one simple, good thing.
Sr. Barbara and Sr. Diane