Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Meet SASSOU





Sassou is a 13 year old boy from the village Aneho. He is here on the ship with his father. When Sassou got to Mercy Ships, he had a growth on his eye, but it did not cause him any pain. Only evil stares. Also, it prevented him from seeing well out of his right eye.

When Sassou was little, his mother left. As of now, he lives with his brother, sister, father and his dad's new wife. Sassou is in Elementary school in 5th grade. When I asked him if he was going to go back to school in the Fall, he told me about his final exam that he needs to take on this coming Monday (6/7) in order to complete the 5th grade.

"Will you be able to go home and take the test?" I asked.

"I do not know, I need my father to ask the doctors when we come to the ship on Thursday if I can go take it." he told me.

I found out from our translator, Meza, that it's very important that he takes his test on Monday. If he doesn't, he will not be able to go onto the  next grade in the Fall.

My heart has definitely gone out to Sassou. He said he has not made friends with the other kids at the Hospitality Center because he is afraid that if he plays with them, he will pull out his stitches or the staples in his head. He is very quiet when we talk, and it is apparent to me that he interacts very little with the other kids who are surrounding us, laughing and playing. I tell him that I want to be his friend, and we can play very carefully as to not hurt his stitches. He gives me a faint, yet visible smile. I sit there a while longer and simply hold his hand.


I needed to talk to his father in more detail about his test to see what we could work out. The wheels are turning in my head, and if we can approach his story with a 'Learning' angle, it would be wicked to go to his school on Monday, and get a photo of him while he is taking his test in full "recouperation mode"...staples and all. Tom, our photographer, is in complete agreeance. We look at each other and can tell this could be an amazing story. 

To take our angle full cirlce, when I ask Sassou how he found out about Mercy Ships, he reveals to me that his teacher told his father about the big white hospital ship coming to Lomé. Bingo. 

By the time we leave the Hospitality Center, Sassu's dad hasn't returned yet. I tell Sassou that I will see him when he comes to the Ship on Thursday for post-ops, and we will work on getting him to school Monday for his test.

The wheels are in motion...all I have to do is talk to a few people to see if we can pull this off!

UPDATE...here is a photo of Abel (the boy with the intensely crooked legs from the previous post) at the Hospitality center yesterday. He is walking without crutches OR casts and here he is holding another boy up! Simply amazing---makes your heart smile.

Abel is on the left..

3 comments:

  1. Sassou is gonna rock that test! No question! To quote brad Gilbert from the Agassi book: "big things are gonna happen. Big things"

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  2. they love sandals

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  3. These black kids look good in sandals showing of their toes!

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