Araba Benedicta

Born: Born 1990
Died: Aug. 24,. 2003
Araba Benedicta as she was officially named, arrived in February 1997 and had six glorious years with us and we with her. Araba was severely paraplegic but with her extra- ordinary willpower and extensive orthopedic operations she learned to walk with calipers and crutches. She could not articulate words very well but well enough to be understood by those close to her. Araba had an insatiable sense of humor. Papa Bob and Araba were the closest buddies I have ever met. They would have their inside jokes and their fun sessions together which ended in so much laughter that she would at times fall from her chair. Together they would go inside the house and play jazz, very seriously. If you would enter during one of Bob and Araba’s jazz-sessions you would not be noticed for they were focused on the music and each other alone. Araba liked to play the imaginary trumpet and Bob the piano and they could play for hours, with a Chet Baker disc in the CD player. Araba knew how to sew, liked to do household chores and hated to go to school although she was intelligent enough. She had such a personality that she was known everywhere in town. Sometimes she would get visitors who we had no idea about how they would even know her. When she was 11 her first stomach bleeding occurred. Bad news and she and all the community were very scared during her first hospitalization. It stopped. Christmas a year later the bleedings recurred and between Christmas and New Year (quite an accomplishment in Ghana, and everywhere I suppose) we got her admitted at the internal medicine ward of the university hospital in Kumasi. A scan showed cirrhosis of the liver, cause of the recurrent bleedings. Knowing that there was nothing further that could be done medically we took her back to Nkoranza and lived with her in joy and hope and sometimes fear. Joy for every day she lived, fear for that one day that would come. That day came on Sunday-morning the 24th of August. She was dressed up to go to church with Sala when suddenly and unannounced she started vomiting blood. It had become a routine and I, Ineke, rushed her to the hospital while Ema organized blood donors for transfusion. Alas. This time the bleeding was so massive that no amount of blood transfusion could help. We were all around her, all the caregivers, some of the bigger kids, Bob and I. That’s how she went away. She was calm and when life had gone out of her an angelic smile was left on her face. Araba is buried on our premises where people visit her every now and then. There was and will be no-one like Araba. We thank God for the gift of her. Rest In Peace, Araba.
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