KWEZI AND I: Of well-laid spoilt plans

Nasra Bishumba and her Kwezi

I am almost done with my annual leave and I am just amused at how things turned out. All these plans I had with Kwezi evaporated into thin air. First, according to my plan, I was to travel to Uganda and spend a week of rest and recuperation. It was necessary, especially with the nature of the work that I do, but no one ever reminds you that if you need to rest and recuperate, Kampala is not the place to go. You are better off going to an island in Kibuye and listening to the birds chirp. It’s more therapeutic. At the airport as we waited to board, my sister called me.

Kwezi was sick and not really doing well. She said that our mother, who is happy to take on the babysitting role when I am unavailable, had spent the entire night by her bedside because the temperature was too high. To make matters worse, she told me that mum was really scared. For those of you with young children, you can imagine my panic. That’s not the kind of news that you want to, first of all, receive, but, most importantly, that’s not the

kind of news that you want to receive when you are not in the country. To say that I was frustrated is an understatement. It was even more frustrating when my sister said that the diagnosis was ‘blood infection’. If you have lived in Kigali long enough, you surely know that many doctors tell you this when you feel really sick. It’s a diagnosis that is simply not clear. Personally, it really angers me.

When I finally got home, Kwezi was not feeling well. For a girl who always has a lot to say, she was withdrawn. She also was not really talking. The nose was running non-stop and the tongue seemed heavy when she attempted to speak. I made her open her mouth and as expected, she had inflamed tonsils which attacked the throat and the back of her tongue. She was not eating and she was having trouble breathing. Thankfully, my mother had gotten her medication and the temperature was slowly getting back to normal.

Looking at her, I realised that plans are just that. They can change in the most unexpected ways. My mother as expected refuses me to take her home yet. She insists that she has lost weight and needs a grandmother’s touch. I have reluctantly accepted because at the back of my mind, I know that she is right. Her love for her grandchild makes me miss my own grandmother’s touch every day but thank God that Kwezi has the opportunity to be spoilt.


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