World AIDS Day 2008: Brendan Bannon blog - Day Six

DAY SIX: HOPES OF GRANDPARENTING

Milka Anyango Odondi wants to be a grandmother someday. Today she gave birth this morning to a healthy baby boy. They are both HIV negative.

“When I was pregnant I wanted to know my status," she said. "I wanted to take every precaution to protect the life of my child. This is my third child and we are all negative.

"I have been taking care of myself well. I don’t move around with other men and I believe my husband is the same. We stick to each other.

"My husband told me he tests every three months and is not going around with other women. We sat together and spoke about our lives and pledged to concentrate our love in our family.

"I encourage my friends to take care good care and to not move around with other men. If they stay healthy, they can take care of their children for a long time. If they move around they might die and leave their children at too young of an age.

"I want to be a grandmother; I am dreaming of it. I want the pleasure of seeing my children grow and I figure that by old age, I’ll have a lot to teach the younger ones.

"I have known some wise women and I want to be among them someday. I have seen their homes grow well through their wisdom. I wish to be the same.”

Hours after the birth, Milka had not yet chosen a name for the boy. Nor had she spoken with her husband. He works on a tea plantation in another district. In the rush to the hospital, she forgot to bring his phone number. When she speaks to him she will ask if he likes the name Ian Anyango.