A Nurse


November and December are two of the busiest months for clinical officers at St. Elizabeth’s. Doctors begin their work day at 7AM with a morning prayer and ward rounds and have full schedules of outpatient procedures and surgeries until late evening. Because most doctors are too busy to breathe, I have focused my attention and trainings on the nurses and pharmacists. I have become dear friends with a woman named Alodia.  Alodia is a RN who specializes in pregnancies. Like many nurses, Alodia left her home country (Rwanda) to find available work in Tanzania. Alodia has four children who live in Rwanda with her brother-in-law. After her husband died, Alodia was forced to marry his brother. From what I can gather, the brother is extremely cruel. He forced Alodia to leave her home and children, and refuses to support the children’s education fees. Due to her situation, Alodia wires all of her earnings (50, 000 TSH per month) to her children’s schools and is living in poverty without daily meals or a suitable home. I pray for Alodia and her children every day–for Alodia’s health, for her children’s safety and education, and for their reunion. Alodia calls me her “first born daughter” and I have truly grown to love her as my surrogate mother. I spend a few hours in her office every day teaching her how to communicate via email with her children. She also is teaching me invaluable lessons about pregnancies, HIV positive mothers and babies, faith, and the strong bond that can never be broken between a parent and their child.

Jenna R.


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