At the outset, I confess that I have no experience in the medical field. I’m not a doctor or a nurse; I’m a recent college graduate, a writer and someone who’s interested in the world. And, all last summer, I was a volunteer in Uganda.
I’d met a Ugandan priest who was visiting the States on a lecture tour. He described his work overseeing an orphanage located in Western Uganda, a day’s bus ride from Rwanda and Kenya. When he invited me to go and help out there, I accepted.
Upon arriving, I discovered that the orphanage was a small, broken-down concrete house perched on a hill above a muddy soccer field. The building had four bedrooms and no running water. The yard featured a wandering mountain goat and a smelly outhouse with a faulty latch.
Fifteen orphans lived there–eight girls and seven boys, ages eight to twenty-one. In summer, when the schools let out, as many as ten more children came to stay.
Life at the orphanage ran along unusual lines: There were no adults on hand, so the oldest orphans …