Love at first sight


Making a local connection Senegal


July 2015. We arrive at the orphanage. The children are all in the cages. No, they look like cages but they are cradles. They are all hanging on the bars but a child could not. He had plaster on his leg, bigger than him ... but he was banging on the bars and screaming like a mad for someone to take him up. It was heavy. We play on the ground. I say to myself "This child will drive all women crazy with love". It was tough. Poop. Ok, change the diaper. I remove the diaper ... "OH MY GOD..HE IS A FEMALE". I'm upset. The following days I decided to give attention to all children and not just my favorite. "Giada, look at the other children, do not look at your baby, do not look at her" ... and Mareme screamed like crazy ... and I gave up. She looked at me, he teased and laughed like crazy. I fell in love. A blood bond. My daughter. I'm going home. "Mal d'Africa"? No, "Mal di Mareme". I'll be back in Senegal in January 2017. Mareme is not there, in the orphanage. Where is her? Nobody knows anything. Someone tells me to look for her in the orphanage. There is not. Finally the nurse tells us that she has returned home. He lives in Joal. The nurse gives us the grandmother's phone number that only speaks Wolof. What can we do with the number? In Joal we ask the first Senegalese that we find on the street, to call his grandmother. I want to see my baby. A door. We cross it. A squint, a dwarf and another squint welcome us. They bring me my baby with a clean dress and braids. She immediately meets me, dodges my friend and comes to me. I cried. She starts playing all the games we did two years before: games with my tattoo on my shoulder, fingers in my mouth. I teach her to blow her nose. She did not speak. The foot .. always wrong. We need to talk to his father. I want to help this child with her foot problem. The father is in another house. Let's go to him. We are welcomed by a woman with a leg on the contrary and a team of children all mounted on the contrary, with their feet turned inwards and all full of fleas and parasites on their heads. My friends laughed hysterically. Finally his father arrives ... with sunglasses. Is it blind ???? And how can I offer myself to solve the problem at the foot of Mareme that here there is not one healthy? I give up. In November of 2017, the foot keeps it as it is, but will go to school. We give money to the family. A few days later they give me the registration documents at school. I cry. My crippled girl will go to school.