What does your typical day consist of?
Today a really good friend of mine from Antigua brought me a delicious lunch. Rice and peas, stewed meat with brown gravy, vegetables and ginger beer to drink! All homemade. Wasn't I lucky? It was really good. She is always treating me special. She knows I love her and her cooking.
Later that afternoon, I had the delight of talking with a patient I've been seeing for years at work. She is from Bosnia. She's always very open with me. After talking about our kids we got into a deeper subject. She told me how the wars in Bosnia affected her. She shared with me some of the horrible things she encountered and how her husband had even been placed in a concentration camp. It reminded me of how lucky I was to be born in the United States. I can't imagine how it must feel to hear constant bombing, worrying if your kids and family are safe, seeing old friends from school who you use to play with but can no longer speak to, due to fear of retaliation. All due to differences in religion!
I was feeling kind of sad after my chat with the sweet lady from Bosnia, but was quickly cheered up when I brought back my last patient of the day! A fun loving and hilarious gentleman from Uganda. This man cracks me up. He is always full of energy and very talkative. I love his accent and have to pay close attention to make sure I'm understanding everything correctly. He is always cracking jokes. He told me of his upcoming trip to Uganda. He brought his wife and daughter along with him this time. I had the pleasure of meeting his lovely family..
Once I arrived home, I cooked dinner for my son. My cell phone rang. I picked it up and it was one of my best friends.. It doesn't matter how long we go without talking. We always pick up where we left off. She is from Colombia.
If only you could have been a fly on the wall when listening to us talk!
Our phone conversation is a mix of English and Spanish. Basically she goes 90 miles per hour in Spanish and I answer back 90 miles per hour in English. After all, we have lots to cover!
Now it is time to go to bed. As I reflect on my day, I am extremely grateful I have had the opportunity to meet people from other cultures. I'm glad I chose to become friends with them and they chose to become friends with me. I'm glad while I am working I take the time to get to know my patients and genuinely listen to what they want to share with me.
I'm excited about all the things I have yet to learn and the open mind I'm instilling in my son to appreciate what he can learn from others.