Dengue fever is very common here and since it is the rainy season, it is the time for dengue. A little boy across the street from us just died this morning. My brother-in-law was woken up this morning at around 3AM from the boys parents and he gave them a ride to the hospital where he died a few hours later.
I am really trashed about this. The children in the neighborhood are my buddies. I can talk to them as they are less sensitive about using english and always willing to teach me (or make fun of) my tagalog. In some ways, I enjoy the kids more than the adults. Maybe not more, but just in a different way. This little boy who died, Michael, was one of my favorites. He was not shy, when I first moved here he walked right up to me and told me his name. He would ride his bike around the neighborhood, always ignoring my pleas for him to give me a ride. He would try to teach me the rules of this weird cartoon card game they played. When walking past the upstairs window he would call my name and wave. He would run as I would tell my dog (in broken tagalog) to, "Eat Michael". He was vivacious and only eight years old.
The secondary thing that breaks my heart is seeing the other kids crying. For a child to have to deal with death--and not the death of a pet or a grandparent but a friend their own age is heartbreaking to me. Dengue can be fatal but it is often not. I don't know how long he was sick...I saw him a day or two ago so it cannot have been long. Rumors in the neighborhood range from he was sick for five days, a couple of days, a couple of hours. Money for the hospital may have been an issue. Just devastating.