Monday, February 15, 2010

Home Again!

I think it is finally time that I introduce myself. My name is Jessica and I have had the pleasure of bringing these ten lovely ladies to a place I hold very close to my heart…Mongu, Zambia. I have been working in Zambia since 2008, and have a passion for nursing in Africa. This passion came to me three years ago, when I took the same path as these students and went to Ghana, West Africa for my 4th year final practicum at UBCO School of Nursing. Since graduating from UBCO in 2007, I have followed that passion and found myself teaching nursing in rural Zambia.

In 2008 myself and another colleague, Lianne Jones (who also just so happens to have that same passion for Africa!) taught at Lewanika School of Nursing for 6 months. The school is located in Mongu, the capital of Zambia’s Western Province. Although we were presented with many challenges, I had the privilege of meeting and working with a number of wonderful Zambians. My nursing students were bright and eager to learn, and my teaching colleagues taught me the principles of what it means to be a great teacher.

I returned back to Zambia in October of 09, with a team of surgeons and nurses from Kelowna. Together we have formed an organization called the Okanagan-Zambia Health Initiative-OkaZHI ( Our mandate it to continue working in Western Province, Zambia and we will return twice every year to bring education to local Zambian nurses and doctors. I think of the UBCO nursing students as representatives of OkaZHI, and maybe one day they can return back to Mongu and help us to continue our education!

Every time I come back to Zambia it feels more and more like I am returning home. I think I can now officially call Mongu my second home! I love that I can share my second home with these ten wonderful nursing students. Zambia is also known as ‘The Real Africa’, and after traveling around many African countries…I can honestly say it is the ‘Real’ Africa! So far I think they really are getting a taste of the real Africa. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to guide these students through their own life changing experiences.


1 comment:

  1. Very nicely said Jessica! Good Picture! How are all those little children? Guess Mom & Dad are getting excited about their next adventure. Hope this finds all of you well. Do take care and stay safe. Love from Nannie & Grandad XXX OOO