We just had the saddest thing happen. Saidu Thoronka came over very upset because he called his mother who lives in Makeni and learned his 23 year old sister died this morning. She went out into the bush yesterday to collect firewood to sell and was bitten by a snake. His mother was crying "bitterly" when he called her. He came to us asking for money to go to the funeral which is tomorrow morning. He is very concerned for his mother. His sister would go out and collect firewood and then help her mother grind ingredients to make sweet breads to sell on the road. Without her daughter's help, she will not be able to work. Saidu has no money. He has worked for the last 6 years in a government secondary school and has not been paid one cent. School started a couple of weeks ago and Saidu did not go back to teach. He is looking for another job but here in Freetown, you don't get a job unless you have a connection. There are way more men here than there are jobs. Saidu is a polio victim so his choices of jobs are limited. I asked him about his mother's religion and if they would help her. He said his mother is a Muslim and his sister was a Christian. Her Christian church will pay for her burial. The Muslim's will not help with any of the expenses nor will they help take care of his mother. He has a very sad heart.
Tuesday, September 27th - Saidu came by this morning to tell us his mother has a place
to live and the people who took her in is only asking Saidu to provide 1/2 bag of rice a
month to feed his mother. That is 100,000 Leones ($14.29) a month. That is a huge
amount for someone with no job. He agreed to pay it but is very worried about how he
can get that kind of money. A tender mercy: a polio victim that lives in the same PVA
compound as Saidu is a principal at one of the local schools. As a matter of fact, we are
going to do a project of handicap ramps and a handicap bathroom at this school.
Anyway, he contacted Saidu yesterday and asked him to put in an application. He
needs another teacher. Saidu has to get his paperwork from the university he
graduated from showing he graduated.. He has to pay 30,000 Leones to get the
paperwork from the clerk (bribe). He does not have it so he came asking for more
money. Don gave it to him. He also told us his grandmother died last night and the
funeral is tomorrow. This was his mother's mother. Can you imagine having your
mother die one day after you buried your daughter? I can't. Now my heart is heavy.