She looks shyly up at me with big brown eyes, the hint of a smile on her lips. I can tell she is pleased to see me, quite though she is. Thirteen year old Aisha, my first student is a quick learner, picking up English far quicker than I could ever imagine picking up French or Sousou her languages. One of the first patients to arrive this field service, Aisha spent over three months in wards A and B on the Africa Mercy while surgeons worked hard to correct her deformity. You see Aisha's feet were bent under and were facing backwards, making it almost impossible for her to walk. Aisha was accompanied by her faithful mama, Mariam and her little baby brother Mamadou who quickly stole the hearts of anyone who spent any time in his presence.
Aisha, Mariam and me on deck seven. The patients spend an hour everyday out on deck seven to get some fresh air. Aisha had to go up in the lift in a wheelchair, as do most of the ortho patients, for a large part of her stay in the wards.
Mariam, Mamadou and Aisha in her first full length casts.
Aisha and her mama.
Another nice family pic minus Dad and the rest of Aisha's siblings who lived apart for three long months in order to get their little girl healed.
Sam from hospital chaplaincy talks with Aisha.
An awesome moment, Aisha walks along the dock unaided.
We are not allowed to give gifts to patients and day workers until they leave us so I had been waiting for many weeks to share some gifts with Aisha including a little clip on koala and a photo book of her journey with us.
Aisha and I say goodbye.
The patient transfer land rover takes Aisha, Mariam and Mamadou home where they belong.