Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Taking Care of Team Rwanda

It's not even 7:00 in the morning and I am awake typing away at emails trying desperately to get back to the 4 (number of emails in my box when I went to bed) in my inbox which now numbers 48...after Unroll.me clears out the "junk". I am battling a bit of a head cold, we're in camp, we have had no power for 8+ hours every day for the past 5 days, no water every other day and the coffee I just gulped down is having ZERO affect.  

Zulu starts growling when he hears Shaka barking outside. 


It's Rocky.  I am thinking he's come to our house to pick up water bottles to bring back to the kitchen for the guys early start today.

He just stands there.  He's not picking up any water. 

Mr. AM goes to the door.  I follow....reluctantly, maybe this will be a two cup morning.

Then I realize something is wrong.

He says, "My brother died."

Yesterday, Rocky told me his brother had been in an accident, a bicycle accident on his single speed.  He wasn't wearing a helmet, they don't have helmets here.  Rocky had said, "He crashed just like Bona.  I think he has same problem in head as Bona."  

In April, Bona hit a pedestrian flying down a hill and hit his head later developing a post trauma brain clot.  We almost lost him.

I asked him when it happened and he said a few days ago, "but he still has headache". 

Bona, being on Team Rwanda, went to the best hospital in Rwanda and his life was saved.  Rocky's brother was probably given an ibuprofen at the local clinic and told to go home.  Bona lived, Rocky's brother died.  

I don't know exactly what he died from but I have this horrible thought running through my head gaining traction, digging a trench....maybe it was the same thing Bona had, could I have save him?  I think when Rocky spoke to me yesterday perhaps he was hoping I would say, "let's get him to Kigali."

The thought was there, for a moment, but when do you stop, where is the cut off point for helping people?  I cannot save everyone in Rwanda.  I cannot even save every team member's family.  Rocky has had a shit life filled with really crappy luck of the draw.  He lost his eye in 2011 and then his child almost lost her leg due to infection in 2013.  Now his brother is dead.  His brother leaves a wife and two children.

F*&K I hate this world some days!

And then I open Facebook, only because it's my job for the team, and all I see is  people remodeling houses--a few pics are good, your entire house and every detail displayed over way too many photos--overkill.  I see posts about Kardashians and Mayweather and MMA and parties and your selfies at Starbucks...really?  I am so ruined.  I will never be able to be reintegrated back into "normal" life.  I don't want to be reintegrated.  I want to remember what this feels like.  This is life.

Today was a somewhat typical day in my life.  

This afternoon Janvier, Camera, Bona, Bosco, Nathan, Felix and Patrick went to Rocky's house to be with the family.  He died this morning they are burying him this afternoon.  There are no morgues here.  There's no time for formalities and visitation.  The body must be buried today.

I asked Nathan this afternoon when I saw him how Rocky was doing.  He said it was very sad.  I was proud of the boys for going and representing that we just don't say #teamisteam, we live it.

Tonight we'll gather up some money for the widow and children.  We'll pay Rocky his salary for the week and tell him to stay home and be with his family.  

Tomorrow morning we will be on the road training at 8:00am.

Welcome to the real world.

Rocky's Family

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