I couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing! It was such a great moment for Sambani, and he was so honest.
I met Sambani two days before, indeed depressed and sad. Dr Ute Wiehler has operated his first eye, and I did his second cataract operation two days later. All went well, even better than anticipated! I now saw him playing skittles with Coke bottle tops in the eye hospital courtyard with another boy who was staying in the hospital with his mother.
Sambani is from Kalonga Village in Lilongwe District. He lives with his parents and four siblings. He had been blind for two years, and had stopped going to school last year.
He had been doing well at school, and told me “I was an intelligent boy!” He was in standard 4 but his low vision “made me to be a useless boy” he said. I couldn’t believe what he was saying.
Sambani told me and nurse Rose, that he is now going to continue his education because he is “still young”. He wants to be a driver or a teacher.
It will be great to take Sambani back home today, so he can be with his whole family again, and then start school again next week when school opens for the new year. We will try and meet him again in a few months to see how he is doing.
Pieter, the South African missionary living near Monkey Bay phoned me yesterday. There are many people he has met in the villages who would like to, or need to, come to Nkhoma for their eyes. Lumbani will be heading down on Sunday with the ambulance to help collect them.
We will try and meet with Mary who lives nearby, and see how she is doing, 4 months after her surgery!