In 2002, Mankell travelled to Uganda and met many families affected by the Aids epidemic. He meets Aida, a girl growing up in Uganda where Aids kills people from 15 to 20 years old to those in their early fifties. Soon her parents will die. She will become a mother to her siblings. She is 12 years old. In many parts of Africa, the old people have to look after their grandchildren when the parents are no longer alive. Then when they die, the children are orphans. "Children who have to be one another's parents have a pretty distorted start in life. They slip up." Aids in Africa, is an epidemic and illness that is very much treatable in the Western world, where medicine is affordable and obtainable. In the third world, Aids is not under control, and many die from starvation as there is not enough manpower to keep agriculture going, but we in the privileged Western world know nothing of what is happening there.