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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Happy and Bright

Would you name your child "Happy Bright" if you knew he was going to have AIDS?

Happy Bright came to clinic today, with his perky elf-pointy ears, sporting his Chinese-store-bought suit, and smiling expectantly. He's been in our program for most of his life, which at this point is about two months shy of four years. And though his stunted height looks more two-year-oldish, he's reasonably plump, and true to his name . . . happy and bright.

A Bundibugyo paradox, that an HIV-infected child and his mom can dress up for their day in clinic, because it probably represents one of the high points of the month (free cups of hot porridge while waiting, the festive sense of community in the crowd of fellow sufferers, the quick flash of candy from my pocket, the doling out of life-sustaining meds). And that they can be the happiest and brightest spot in my day, too.

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