September 2008
Ambrose shows off his new watch - September 2008
Ambrose shows off his new watch – September 2008

Last weekend one of the Drs here was getting married. The wedding was in the chapel at the hospital. I had two Austrian and two Scottish Medical students with me as we were departing to the reception, some 20 miles away. A little boy came over to the truck. He seemed to want to get in. I asked where he was from and he said Mwanza–a town some of the wedding party was from. He was reasonably dressed and the students said they had seen him in the chapel. So, I figured he was just sent over to ask for a ride because there were only a couple vehicles and we had a little space; A very common thing here.Ambrose sat in the back with the three female students and clearly liked it. At the reception he sat at our table. Again, not surprised he had adopted us. But then one of the hospital nurses came aver smiling and said, “Isn’t he a charmer?”. I asked if she knew him and she said yes, Ambrose was one of her patients in the pediatric ward. Turns out he just decided to join in the party and his pants covered his leg wound.

 Now imagine if at home you found you had even accidentally kidnapped a young child, driven him 20 miles to a different town, all without even knowing the parent “¦what would you do “¦rush him back? call the police? Well what we did was simply enjoy the day. Ambrose drank two sodas, ate wedding cake with the rest of us, and we got him back to the hospital late enough we had to sneak him back in. He was even given a plastic watch by one of the students as a memento. I think he will never forget his day with the 5 white people.

 In Africa everyone takes care of the kids. They go here, there and no one seems to worry. I wrote in my last submission how I just walked over to play with the kids at the school next door. Imagine trying that these days in the US. What do you mean you think it is good for the kids to get a close up look at you “¦.you must be a child molester, deviate, or whatever. Hello handcuffs.

Maybe our kids in the US have got a lot of stuff and opportunities, but they miss out on a lot too. Just ask Ambrose.