Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Nothing could be worse than to fear that one had given up too soon..."

"Nothing could be worse than to fear that one had given up too soon and left one unexpended effort which might have saved the world" - Jane Addams......
Food for thought I guess. Today was the last day of our first week working in Lewanika hospital, tomorrow we all go on safari in kofu national park (sp?)! It is a much needed vacation, after only one short week on the wards. It has been a struggle. An amazing learning experience, and a total warp on our thinking.
So much about the world is difficult and unknown. Never is that more apparent then on a ward you are unfamiliar with. Especially when it also contains a culture and language that is alien to you. It is strange to navigate our new terrain, I feel more expert and more novice at the same time. Like I have nothing and everything to give, and somehow I am confidently unsure of how to go about doing anything.
This is discouraging and difficult. When I feel that way, it makes me want to leave and never go back. Forget that a place I don't understand even exists. But we can't abandon that which we don't understand, for in the end it has so much more to offer us than the everyday routine we are used to. A few days ago I struggled with this, and with all of the uncertainty.
Hard things have taken place while we have been here. Things that make it very difficult for us to fill our role as nurses, in the way we have at home. Very hard to advocate for what we beleive is right, although perhaps sometimes we aren't always right either.. The worst though, is knowing that something more could have been done and wasn't. Or harder, that we could have done more but some how didn't or weren't able to. The trying gets exhausting, and the giving up, actually more exhausting...
Yet it is the struggle that builds strength ... and sometimes also apathy, or resentment. The later I try hard to escape.. and hopefully somehow grow some strength. (Proof of this would be great, any day now... )
And yet today I had a really good day on the ward. A great last day on my surgical rotation here. I had fun with the students, learned along with them, and accomplished more than I feel we had in the days before. And that was very cool. So despite all the difficulties. All the things we failed at. I am taking this one positive for me! And we have to remember to still have fun despite the struggle.
The girls all curl up in the evening and giggle through episodes of glee, blare music while doing the dishes, or have headlamp dance parties in our rooms (Kelso and Leah! ;) So we are all learning, and having fun. Although some duet or solo in glee might bring tears a little easier than it used to, thats ok. We are all ok, underneath it all.
Africa is hard, not in every way but in many, and in a strange sense it is softer because of this.
Thank you for all the support back home <3 Missing you all dearly.
~ Jess
P.S Safari tommorrow! Yeeeaahh! Might be out of touch for a few days as we are in the park till Sunday <3

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jess ,
    Thank you for sharing this amazing learning experince ,please keep them comming ,we all, back home look forward to read about you days,It makes me feel a little closer.
    "Stay safe" mom.xoxo