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  • Fortunately or unfortunately FaceBoiok sent the news of our neighbors´invaded land round the globe to my friend Sammy - Send me, in Namibia. She is worried about me now, she writes me. Well, I am worried about her. She says her T - cell - counts go up and down and she feels weak.

    On this photograph, which she also sent, she looks gorgeous, though, I think and so does her Mom, amazing these African women! You can read their terrific stories here:

    “I had myself sterilized when I was 25 years old”, Tells me Charlotte, a lively Ovambo womanfrom the township of Mondesa in Swakopmund, Namibia. She is in her early thirties,” I already had three children by three different men then. How good that I got sterilized then, otherwise I would be a single mother of six fatherless children now!”

    She works has a small business, giving township - tours to tourists, who want to see "the other" Africa, not just animals and nature, but how many of the blacks live. We are having a coffee together in the local Village Cafe.

    She has brought her sister Sammy with her. Sammy is just twenty years old. She is more beautiful and much shyer than her older sister. Shyness and beauty have not helped her so far, though, to start an easier life: she sits there with a huge belly. In another month her baby will be born. It is her third baby; the other two are still toddlers. Their fathers are who knows where and the father of this new baby has gone to the United States, but she still hopes that he will return and accept the baby as his.

    “I do not know about contraception,” she mumbles and smiles,” now I have asked them in the hospital if they sterilize me, but they say 20 years is too young for that.”

    Charlotte tells us,” Whenever I meet an man who I am attracted to and I tell him that I have three children and am sterilized he usually runs from me as fast as he can. Black men here do not want any sterilized women. They reject condoms and any other contraceptives, because want they want are children! An average Namibian black man sees a woman, finds her attractive and thinks: if I get her pregnant I will put a beautiful child into this world! Then he tries what he can to get that woman pregnant.”

    My husband asks,” He wants a child of which he then never takes care?”

    Charlotte nods,” Yes the normal black male here just wants to show off with his buddies the many beautiful children he has with his many gorgeous mistresses! Just black men, who date white women are different!"

    We are speechless.

    Sammy tells us that she had just started to study tourism; she wants to be a tourist guide and make some money. But now with the baby coming, she has to let go of those plans for a good while. “At least I hope that this baby will be a boy!” she whispers when we kiss good – bye.

    I wonder why?

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Some time later we invite Charlotte, Sammy, their mother and their neighbor Tia to eat with us in a restaurant in Swakopmund. We arrive punctually, but the three women have arrived even earlier and already sit at the table. We greet each other, order drinks and study the menu. We are still waiting for their Mom.

    Charlotte laughs,” Tia was at 8.30 this morning dressed and ready for our lunch appointment beside my bedside!”

    I say something to Sammy and she suddenly whispers to me,” My real name is not Sammy, my real name is “Send Me”

    “Send Me?" My husband and I ask back in a chorus.

    She smiles and shows us her identification card. Yes, there I read it: Send Me.

    “How did your parents come up with that name?” I ask.

    As an answer shy Sammy sits up straight, her eyes start to glow and she starts to cite with a strong and proud voice a part of the Bible where somebody pleads to God ^Please, send me to spread your word^. Instead of “God” she says “Jehovah”as the whole family is member of Jehova`s Witnesses. Send Me’s second name we discover is Bless Me. In local English it sounds like “Blessia”.

    Then their mother appears. She seems to be even taller and rounder than I remember her from the first time when we met. Maybe the reason for this is the traditional Ovambo dress she wears to honor this special occasion: a very wide blue cotton dress with white print on it. A bright yellow scarf holds her wiry hair together. She presses each of us firmly and into her huge bosom. Then she takes her traditional shell necklace out of its hiding place under the dress and on top of her chest. “The necklace is from my grandmother; it is very old and made out of tiny pieces of ostrich – egg – shells. Walking on the streets somebody might have it ripped off her neck if she had not hidden it.”, Tia explains.

    We are allowed to touch the special piece and admire it. Charlotte´s mother beams.

    We order our meals. I do not enjoy mine as much as usually here, somehow it is not as tasty, but I notice that our guests are enchanted, none leaves not even the tiniest crumble of anything on her plate. Finally we order vanilla ice cream with hot cherries for everybody. Those I enjoy fully, too.

    Then we bring the women back to the township. When we say good bye, Send Me Bless You strokes her round belly and says,” If my baby is a boy or a girl, the second name of the baby will be “Suarez”!”

    When I hug Charlotte´s and Send Me’s mother she again presses my face deeply into her bosom and with tears in her eyes she whispers,” I will never ever forget you!”

    With these words she puts a pamphlet into my hands.

    Back in the car I discover that it is a brochure by Jehova`s Witnesses.

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    We did not know then what the future would bring. Today I know what was future then - and is past now:

    A couple of years later Charlotte found a man, who did not care that she was sterilized. He popped the question she had waited for for so many years.

    She married him and he adopted her three children. A couple of months later Charlotte died in a car accident. Her widower left the children with their grandmother and disappeared.

    Send Me got pregnant again. Her fourth man. He is an alcoholic and beats her. After her 4th daughter was born in 2011 she and the baby were diagnosed as HIV positive.

    Her mother is still cleaning houses in town trying to raise 7 grandchildren on her meager wages.

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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