Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This, that, and one other thing

I've been searching online for flights and accommodation for going to Cape Town Book Fair this year. It's got me all excited. I can't wait to get everything finalized and know for sure I'm going. I loved it last time I was there. So many talks and panel discussions. So many authors (I am an author stalker-beware!). And of course -BOOKS!!!

The other important thing is I have decided to stop my website. The main reason is that it is very difficult to change anything there and the one who is supposed to keep it up to date never does. This blog is so much easier and FREE. I think it serves the purpose that I wanted the website to serve. So for the time being I will be web site-less.

The other thing is a sadness that has caught me by surprise today. There was a young man I met quite a few years ago, maybe 7 or 8 years ago now. He was physically disabled but far abler than many people I know. He was trained as an auto electrician but on the side he'd learned carpentry and building. He was from Zimbabwe. While I knew him, his mother died and as the eldest in the family he now needed to work hard in Botswana to send money to his younger siblings back home.

He did a lot of work in my house. The ceramic tiles my chair sits on were laid by him. The beautiful wooden kitchen cupboards in my kitchen were made by him too, at a time when our house had no electricity, he built them from board with only manual tools; a craftsman of immense skill.

The last time I saw him he had run into some problems. He was arrested for awhile and had all sorts of immigration problems as Zimbabweans do in Botswana. His bike had been stolen and since I had an almost brand new one in my garage he asked if he could borrow it, he'd pay me when he got his next job. And that was it, I never saw him again. Today someone told me he died in Zimbabwe, another victim of this vile, horrendous, heart breakingly unfair disease AIDS. He had such a short difficult life, it seems so terribly unfair. How I hope that there really is a rest for him and that it is one only filled with peace.


Sue Guiney said...

heartbreaking. What a world we live in. This idea of people coming in and out of our lives, touching us, disappearing and then....the world changes every little bit for us when that happens, and so often we don't even know it's happening.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

My nephew just died suddenly of AIDS. I am glad you included the picture of the young man's work. We live on in the memories of others. We live on in the work we leave behind. You honor him by remembering him.

Anonymous said...

That is so sad. Some people have such tragic lives. It is heartbreaking to think of this. This is the fate of so many. I hope he is at peace now. I hope that we - the survivors, the onlookers - can band together to continue to fight AIDS and poverty without letting the grief overwhelm us. I am really sorry to hear this, Lauri.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps one of the saddest things about this disease is the immobilizing fear of rejection and stigma that sometimes prevents people from getting help. Indeed -we honour those who have left us behind by honouring them.

Lauri said...

Sue- It's actually quite wonderful to think of all of the people who have passed through your life and left behind little bits that have changed you, lovely really to think of it that way. Thanks.

Elizabeth- I'm so sorry about your nephew.

Selma- It does seem sometimes that certain people are forced to carry a much heavier load than others. It's hard to understand it.

There was a time in Botswana when you could feel the heavy weight of sadness from the sheer volume of people falling to this disease. It was relentless. Wherever you turned another person was dead. At least now with free ARV treatment people are managing to live with the disease. You can almost hear a collective sigh from the burden being lifted a bit.