It is my goal to not lose my heart to the kids I work with here in Haiti. I fail miserably.
I have fallen head over heels, helplessly and hopelessly, in love with Lovena, the abandoned baby that I helped rescue from the hospital who has been living with her grandma and following our MedikaMamba program.
What kills me about Lovena is that she isn't gaining enough weight. She's been sick, yes, several more cases of diarrhea since we brought her home, but she has also had week of inexplicable weight loss. I was elated 3 weeks ago when she appeared with fat cheeks weighing 4.5kg!
But the next week, she was back down to 4.4kg. I was frustrated. And confused. Until I caught her aunt (grandma's 8 year old daughter Shelda) eating a MedikaMamba packet for breakfast.
I was angry. We make it very clear to the families that if another child eats the MedikaMamba, that baby will be immediately removed from the program. But the grandma obviously knows that she has my hands tied; as much as I want to enforce honesty and accountability, I simply can't send Lovena home with no nutritional help knowing that she will waste away and possibly die.
So we stretched the rules a little. We met with the family and gave them a last chance - if Lovena doesn't gain the appropriate amount of weight by her next appointment, we will know that they have been cheating and she will be out.
I hope I hope I hope that she gains weight. What in the world will I do if she doesn't?