Monday, February 13, 2012

"Is there hippopotamus in that lake?"

Recently we switched nursing companies due to our old company being short staffed and not being able to give us full coverage.  Our new company is great, as we get to choose our own nurses, and alot of the nurses we have chosen happen to be from Kenya.  To be honest, I was leery at first with the thought of having to deal with a whole other culture and how the communication barriers might affect the care Dominic receives from them.  But, I have been pleasantly surprised!

One big feature I have noticed about our nurses from Africa is how hard working they are.  They do not just sit around on their iPhone if there is nothing to do at that moment with Dominic.  They go clean his room, they wash supplies, they organize... anything to keep themselves busy.  While I have had to do some training for all of them, they are so eager to learn how WE do it, how WE like him taken care of.  They learn fast and consider having work a privilege.  So different from the lazy mentality that some Americans I have worked with have, the "I have to work" attitude.  On the contrary, they think "I get to work.".  We need to switch hours on a shift... no problem.  We need night coverage after a full 10 hour work day... again, no problem.  I try to lift a heavy load, there they are to help.  They interact so well with the other kids and fit right into family life.

Some of the most interesting times are when we are in the car on the way to doctor's appointments.  Here are just some of the things they have said:

-"In Africa, you want to have a baby, you die and the baby dies.  That's just how it is."
-"In Africa, there are no ambulances, you go into labor, if you are middle class, you try to find a ride to the hospital.  Once you are there though, they don't care, the nurse says 'you wanted a baby, now you suffer.'" (no pain meds)
-"In Africa, in my village all children are naked, it's no big deal"
-While on a walk around the neighborhood after seeing the lake: "are there hippopotamus and alligators in there?"  She couldn't believe it when I said no.  She said "In Africa, you swim in the lake, you get eaten."
- last week I introduced one of our nurses to tacos and burritos for the first time, she said they tasted "sweet."
-In my village, they had mud houses... just sticks and mud, very comfortable."
-In Africa, you want milk, you go outside and milk your cow."

I have really enjoyed having someone from a different culture here in our home.  There is always things to talk about and we have a ready-made lesson on different cultures for our kids to learn about!  That's not to say having someone in our house all the time is easy, but I sure can;t imagine doing this without their help!

In Jesus and Mary,


  1. I'm glad you are happy and everything worked out for dominic :) Candice

  2. Candice, you are still on my "dream team." I miss seeing you and I know Dominic misses your cuddles! Let me know if you ever want to switch companies ;).