Stigma against people with HIV/AIDS was growing, Fred said. It was so bad that people sometimes wouldn’t hang their clothes to dry on the same line as someone with HIV. He told me about the pills that people took for HIV. He told me it made them fat, and that was a problem. He said there was starting to be a stigma against fat people. He told me about cholera and typhoid, and other diseases that killed people, and he showed me where the water pipes broke and got defiled by the sewers, which we stepped in all the time, which were full of dead animals, human shit, and drinking water.
A little girl fell of her bike, and landed on her face. She didn’t move, so I started to walk towards her. Fred grabbed my arm. “Wait,” he said. “If a child falls, and she sees you, she’ll cry.” We waited.
“If she doesn’t see anyone,” he said, “she’ll be strong.”