Nora’s Story

Warning – Disturbing image below!

Tonight we went to visit Nora. All we knew going into the visit was that she is disabled. I’m not certain any of us were prepared for this visit. It was significant to Mary Jo because of her own story. She was temporarily a quadriplegic following a gunshot that went through her neck.

IMG_1860-EditAfter the initial introduction to Nora I started looking around to see what I could find to photograph. I found that we were being watched by this shy boy. He would let me approach, but if I reached out to shake his hand he would disappear from the window. If I raised my camera to my eye, he would disappear from the window. I ended up shooting this picture from the hip, not being able to see what I was actually going to get.

Mary Jo continued to talk with Nora through an interpreter. I went back to see if I could get some pictures of them together and learn more about Nora.

It turns out that Nora can’t walk. She scoots herself along the ground to get to where she needs to go. I assume someone carries her at times as well, but that was never really stated. She said she has diabetes and like many in Uganda she doesn’t have access to the healthcare she needs to survive.IMG_1854-Edit She spends her day making baskets. Saying that she makes baskets during the day is really misleading. She is extremely talented, but she is only able to make about 1 1/2 in a week. She sells them for $10 each and when she has enough money she uses it for the little bit of medical care that she gets.

It turns out that the little boy hiding behind the wall above is Nora’s grandson. I showed her the picture I took of him, probably the first time she has ever seen a picture and she smiled. She agreed to let me take her photo as she continued to talk. She is a woman of strong faith and did not seem to question her medical condition. It just seems to be part of her life and she accepts it.

As she talked she asked if she could show us what was wrong. It required her to pull up her skirt. Mary Jo said we would look if she wanted us to.IMG_1845-Edit

What you can’t see in this photo is that the bone was showing. She said that when she is able to, she buys something that she packs the wound with. She didn’t mention how many baskets it takes to buy the little relief she is able to get.