Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Gender Bender Benedictor

We are currently feeding an 8 month old baby named Abdul. His mother died shortly after he was born. His father is a fisherman and can’t care for him and he got very sick for awhile. We pay for his formula and porridge so that a relative can care for him. Recently, Abdul’s father had a problem with the caregiver. Our boys Benedictor and Benard were home for the evening and helped us out. They acted as mediators between father and caregiver, delivered the food and cared for Abdul. Benedictor was more than willing to carry him on his back in a khanga. Abdul is growing slowly but surely and he liked the ride with Benedictor.

Men carry babies a lot in Tanzania, but they don’t carry them in khangas! Khangas are an essential part of every Tanzanian woman’s wardrobe. They are beautifully colored cloth with a Swahili proverb on them (see blog below by former volunteer Carissa).

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