So Sikito had a fracture of his femur caused by a Kalashnikov bullet during the conflicts, but worse than the fact that he had like 10 cms of bone missing was the infection of the bone. He came days/weeks after being shot and for that reason that is very, very hard to treat if possible at all…. So Sikito was alone in the hospital, lying down all the time, talked to nobody and went many times to the operation room to clean his horrible bone infection…. He arrived very dehydratated and weak, could hardly speak…. and despite the infection itself was not getting any better, his general condition became much better…. was slim but strong, with big expressive eyes, shy but with a warm smile…. we could speak some words of English (in Rwanda, French and English are the official European languages)… And would give us an enormous smile to the “How are you?” question, with a convincing “I am fine!”
But one day my world collapsed!!! Well, I am exaggerating…. But when I saw Dorika with a long green dress…. I was a bit shocked, and thought to myself... I understand that this is Africa and they are extremely poor, with barely no cloths for their kids or themselves, but to dress a young boy with a long and strong green dress, is a bit too much!!!” I guess it was my “macho latino” perspective that considered outrageous dressing a young boy like that, that could maybe cause him a huge psychological trauma for the rest of his life!But despite my anger, another thought crossed my mind: “Is it possible that my brave and wild young friend is a girl???” kids shave their hair, sometimes even adult women, for hygienic purposes, so it´s hard to tell…. and he acted like a boy as far as my instinct goes…. I was very wrong!!! He was a she!! I asked the nurses and they confirmed!! My sweetest boy was a girl! So many times playing with her and I couldn’t tell…. I guess I was a bit disappointed, for stupid reasons, of course!! Well, my great relationship with her didn’t change a bit, in fact it grew and grew day by day, and my love and admiration for this brave young girl was just getting too strong… A day came when I decided to give all the kids some key chains, that my sister gave me, with the word Portugal on it, and like every other thing that you would give them, it made them extremely happy, even though that key chain was completely useless to them… They were happy and I was becoming sadder, while my departure day was approaching… I always imagined that I would go to the hospital right before I leave to give everybody a warm goodbye…. But when the day came, I just couldn’t….. I guess that’s why I was there, the attraction for strong feelings, but some are just too hard to handle, too intense…. these kids that I wrote you about, specially Dorika, were the biggest reason why I didn’t say goodbye to anybody of the hospital, that became my life for 4 months…. the thought of looking at them for the last time was breathtaking! I had no idea what kind of thoughts those kids had about these strange white people that were there in their country…. but I didn’t want them to see me crying with no possibility of saying anything to explain… It was extremely difficult to arrive in Congo and to adapt to life in a war zone…. But leaving it was much more difficult and painful!