This morning after church, I approached a young Zulu girl (probably 4 years old) wanting to know if one of the ladies standing by the tea was her mother. After getting her name and exchanging greetings, I asked where her mother was at. She just shrugged. So, I asked if her mother was here at the church. Again, she just shrugged. I then got that pit-of-the-stomach feeling and asked, "umama ushonile?" Has your mother died? And she answered, "yes".
It is a harsh reality that is all too common here.
Next time, I will start the questioning by asking, "who do you live with?"
Lesson learned the hard way!