Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Strength of Agnes

Lauren did an excellent job of describing our visit to TASO (see post below). At the end of our visit we had the privilege of hearing one of TASO's clients, Agnes Nyamayaro, speak about the impact AIDS has had on her life and the support TASO has provided her. Agnes's story provides an intimate look into the face of AIDS and the impact it has on average citizens. Her story was very moving and I cannot begin to do it justice with a summary here. Agnes has become an international figure who has had the opportunity to share her story with many prominent individuals including our former president, George Bush, we were very lucky to meet this extraordinary women. What were your thoughts abut Agnes's story? Did it change your perceptions of AIDS and its impact on average citizens? You can learn more about her experiences at the links below. www.mpwn-uganda.org/stories www.one.org/blog/2008/04/08/agnes-on-aids-funding

8 comments:

  1. Agnes was very inspiring. To know that she has lost her husband and two sons either directly from AIDS or its effects is sad, but she continues to be strong for the rest of her family. I am sure that those at TASO are grateful for her work, but I am sure she is more grateful for all they have done for her.

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  3. I was in awe by Agnes's story, but I think we all were. The thing that shocked me the most was how strong this woman was: she lost her husband and her two sons and was able to keep her head held high. Death is a natural part of life, but nobody should have to bury their own children. And what's more, she learned from her experiences and has tried to help others through supporting them in their tough times and advocating for her cause.

    Often times in America, we think we have tough lifes. We have school, homework, work, clubs, organizations, church, and whatever else to juggle. On top of that, we worry about having enough money, what our next purchase will be, and what our future holds. And of course, there are relationships that we have with our friends and significant others and all of the "drama" that comes from that.

    Our lives are not near as stressful as some here in Uganda. We dont have to worry about our family members getting HIV/AIDS and not having the proper resources to get treatment. We do not have to watch our loved ones die in agony. We do not have to worry about our loved ones (females) passing HIV/AIDS when they are pregnant.

    These are just a few examples I have for now. But, what I learned is just how easy we really do have it in America.

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  4. It is true her story is very emotional and enlightening. Never have I had to worry about the issue of HIV/Aids like that of the Ugandans. But, I found her remarks on President Bush interesting. She was very thankful and appreciative to his efforts to help fight for her. During this time many Americans do not like Bush and this reminded us all of what any President can do for the unfortunate that does not always get media attention.

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  5. Agnes' story is a story that I will always remember. She has been through so much in her life and has remained strong throughout it all. It is truly inspirational. I really liked how she suggested the idea that treatment for HIV/AIDS will not just work. Counseling for psychological aspects of the virus are needed as well. Clearly, from her story, we see how HIV/AIDS is a mental disease as well. I imagine that being a therapist for people living with HIV/AIDS would be very hard. I think I would cry a lot and really sympathize for my patients. Also, as she shared with us: HIV/AIDS has no borders. It can affect everyone. This is important to keep for people to keep in mind. Her story resinates with me. Agnes is definitely a hero.

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  6. Agnes's story was just so devastating. She lost three clearly very loved members of her family due to the virus. It is hard enough to watch your sponse and infant child die of this diablitating disease, but to watch her son who seemed to have such promise spiral downward like that on top of it all would be unbearable. Shannon does raise an interesting thought though. I don't know how developed their pyschological support basis is. With so much strife an grief I'm not sure there is a clinical outlet for handling it.

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  7. Agnes's story was heart-wrenching. It was so beneficial for us to be in the same room as her while she told her story. I am learning that there is something to be said about the value of a furst hand experience. I think that Agnes touched all of our hearts and gave us a real, hard look at what life with AIDS is like. This is something that so many Ugandans deal with on a daily basis and it breaks my heart. I applaud Agnes for giving back to the organization that helped her out and for the amount of work she has put in advocating for AIDS support and prevention. I agree with Shannon- she is a hero.

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  8. I think learning about Agnes story for me at least put a personal spin on the AIDS pandemic in Uganda and throughout Africa. Though hearing all of the numbers of people infected changed my perception hearing Agnes speak helped me realize all of the pain that this disease comes with. Hearing her discuss all of her struggles was not only inspiring but further put into perspective the damage of AIDS.

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