When we came into Katopa camp, Pasteur Wemba was there to greet us as usual, and soon sweeping up a place to put our tents. But Henri touched him on the shoulder . And John said “Pole, Pole sana”. People addressed him with heads down. What did I miss? What was wrong?
I had been 9 days in the pirogue coming upriver with the park guards from Opala; I had heard nothing on my thuraya. I asked John what happened. Wemba’s daughter died a week ago, she was 21 years old. She had epilepsy. She had a fit at the river when she went down, alone, to bathe.
“Jojo’s mother is gone”, the Pasteur told me.
Sweets, do you remember? When you were here on your last visit, Wemba’s family came down often and you played with the children. The eldest daughter, Annie, had a baby afterwards. The baby is now one year and three months. The father is not known.
She named her baby after you…
We are sending milk and sugar. They asked for that to help little Jojo sleep at night. That is when she cries most. The family is still in mourning and the child is always in her grandmother’s embrace. So sad.