Sad News From Ibba

Publicity_shot Posted by Nigel and Carol Weallans on Sat, 18 Jun 2016 | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15

When I was young, I spotted an advertisement for Oxfam in my dad’s newspaper. There was a photograph of a starving African child, with the caption ‘Please don’t look away.’ It has been that sentiment, partly, that has helped me to carry on in disturbing circumstances.

While in the UK, I was listening to the account of a woman who had written a book of people’s stories, for which she paid them a pound each. She was asked how she coped with some of the more distressing stories and she admitted that she sometimes went for a ‘power cry,’ before carrying on. This can be a good policy in Ibba, too.

Death in Ibba has been difficult, especially when it touches people that we know well. Simon’s extended family lives nearby and his children sometimes visit to play and draw pictures on our veranda. When we left Ibba, we knew that Esther, Simon and Udita’s baby, was unwell and had been suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting. She had been a healthy, smiling baby, but was becoming thinner and we had not seen her smile for some time.

It was still a shock, however, to hear that Esther had been taken into hospital and then died. It has been a little easier, as we were away on our break when we heard the news, but we still face the struggle of knowing what to say to the family. The reality of the daily difficulty of life in Ibba means that families are very quickly forced to carry on and time for grieving is short.

Rest in peace, Esther.