June 16, 2009


Some of you might remember the story of Pakama, a woman who about this time last year was very sick and on death’s door. She has since got the right combination of pills and is thriving.

When Pakama was sick, a dominant characteristic of her personality was her strong desire to live. She was always directing me and telling me what to do, how to push her wheelchair, when she had another appointment, which pills she had to take when, and on and on and on. I’m convinced that it was that will to live that helped her survive when I’ve seen many other people in her position die.

Now that she is better, I see a lot less of her and her bossiness is a lot less endearing, for instance, when she comes in the clinic and cuts everyone in line. I often thought she was only pushy with me but then I watched the other day as the HIV support group in Itipini set to work planting their part of the garden.

Pakama is at the top of the photo in the dark shirt, taking a sort of supervisory and managerial role while everyone else works.
She closely supervises this woman.
Missed a spot!
And another!
And only at one point does she deign to bend over and help out, though being careful not to get her shoes dirty.
I find this series of photos hilarious and stood on the rooftop and watched her work for sometime but that may only be because I know her so well.


Claire Bergen said...

But wow is she looking healthy! (and it must have been great entertainment from your rooftop vantage point)