This picture is from 2013, Charles and Cathy are playing wedding (must have been after one of the staff got married.) this wedding was probably directed by Helen, who loved to play wedding. In Uganda the family of the groom has to pay dowry to the family of the bride. This is normally agreed during an introduction meeting, where the groom (to be) ,comes with his relatives and friends to the home of the bride (to be) and the families are introduced to each other. The fathers and the uncles are than negotiating over the dowry price. Mostly they ask cows, goats, money and presents. This is at least done in Teso, the area around Soroti. Sometimes they don't agree and there won't be a wedding until an agreement is made... Sometimes the price is so high that the couple is going into debt, to pay the price. Sometimes the family of the bride agrees that the groom can pay afterwards, or in bits... And that was the case with the parents of David...
David's father got permission of the relatives of his bride, to take her home and pay the dowry later.... Two children were born and still the dowry was not finished, so the parents of the bride came in January and took their daughter back home, leaving the two children (3 and 5 years) with the father. This was 8 months ago. But the daughter was just one month pregnant, this came out later, when she was already back in her parental home.
After 8 months home, the baby was born, a little boy, David, the father got a message...... But it was not good with the mother, who was HIV+ and after 2,5 weeks he got the phone call that his wife had died. She was buried in her parental home and the relatives gave the baby to the father. They talked about the dowry, which still had to be paid and they got an agreement between the two families. According to the father, there was not a big problem anymore, but sometimes we have families who start fighting and stealing the cows away, the baby is than brought to Amecet for safe keeping...
David was brought to Amecet by the father, he was already 3 weeks old and his weight was 2.3 kg. He probably lost weight after his birth, because the mother was sick, he was not yet immunized and was small and weak.
We took him in and after two months, David will go back to his father.
I am not critical towards the traditions here in Teso, that is not my position, but to see this family, the two older children haven't seen their mother for 8 months and now she died, this little baby is also suffering. I struggle with this kind of situations sometimes. At least David is safe, he starts to drink well and his father wants him to come home, where he will grow up with his two older brothers and with the help of the grandmother!
Thank God for Grandmothers!!