Sweet Ruth.

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Today our team was at the school site Dominican Advance for the day. Whenever we take breaks there, the girls will sit us down and start playing with our hair. Usually they are younger and just do little braids or ponytails, but I had a little girl who was about 9 doing mine, and she did these two cornrow braids on the side of my head- she did a really good job! There wasn’t as much work as usual to get done, so we spent a lot of time in the Haitian village down the road, playing with the kids. I have written about baby Ruth before, and I spent a lot of time with her today. She is 8 months old, and has three brothers aged 2, 3, and 4. They live with their mother, who doesn’t work, and doesn’t have enough money to feed them. They often go days without eating, and because Ruth and the youngest boy are not the children of her current husband, she is more likely to feed the older two, and Ruth and Willy are often hungry. I brought a group of the students down to the village and immediately took them to Ruth’s house. There is a basketball court right beside it so they could have fun playing with the kids, and I wanted to check on Ruth. When I came to the house, her mother was around the corner and P7185003the four children were all sitting on the floor of the tiny shack, naked and crying. Ruth was up to her arms in diarrhea. When the mother saw us approaching, she came over and wiped Ruth off with an old cloth and then handed her to me, and let the boys out to play. The youngest was really unresponsive, but the older two were a bit better and we were able to get some laughs out of them. We came back after lunch and it was obvious that the kids had little energy. The mother was yet again down the road and the kids were sitting outside, and Ruth was crying softly. Willy fell asleep in Alex’s arms after only a few minutes, and Ruth fell asleep quickly as well. Today they each had a bit of soup (including Ruth, who is 8 months old), P7184988and yesterday they had nothing. Ruth’s mother pulled the translator over and had him tell me that the formula the missionaries here, Donna and Phil, have been giving her to feed Ruth are making her sick and she has been throwing up. She said she has no money and no formula left, and wanted me to tell Donna to come back soon with more formula. As I held her and tried unsuccessfully to get her to smile, I kept being reminded that every 30 seconds, a child under the age of 5 dies of preventable causes. It is very possible that I was holding another one of those statistics in my arms.Nicole C- Student Leader

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: July 20th, 2008