A Travel Nurse Volunteer in Liberia: Simple Acts of Kindness - The Gypsy Nurse

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By The Gypsy Nurse Staff

May 27, 2014

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A Travel Nurse Volunteer in Liberia: Simple Acts of Kindness

The Gypsy Nurse is heading to Liberia with Cross Cultural Care as a travel nurse volunteer.

As you probably already read, The Gypsy Nurse is volunteering in Liberia.  I plan to bring you along with me; virtually and give you a ‘feet on the ground’ accounting of the entire process.

CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS SEGMENTS OF THIS SERIES IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO READ MORE ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE AS A TRAVEL NURSE VOLUNTEER IN LIBERIA.

I’ve arrived in Robertsport….
Lake Piso and the Atlantic Ocean are both able to be seen from my provided housing, and the views are beautiful.  The people I’ve met so far are just as beautiful.

Sando – The smile behind the Sugar Plum

I arrived on a Friday and barely got my things unpacked before the community came out to give me a welcome.  School lets out around noon and the children (upon seeing a new face) all stopped by to say hello on their way home.  At one point, I believe that all the children in Robertsport may have been on my back porch…  All with beautiful smiling faces, although some are very shy. There are several that I can already feel an affinity toward and hope to learn all the names and be able to develop relationships.

Every child that arrived requested water to drink. It’s not advisable to give things to the locals (including water) as it creates a dependency as well as the fact that it’s impossible to provide for everyone. Although necessary, It’s been extremely emotionally difficult to tell multiple small children ‘no’ when they ask for something simple like water.

The reception was almost overwhelming…especially when combined with the heartbreak of having to deny a simple item like water. At one point, I had to retreat to the sanctuary of my room to gather my thoughts and convince myself that I was doing the right thing.

The Sugarplum

travel nurse volunteer Sugar Plum
Sugar Plum

I don’t know how to explain the importance that this simple fruit will forever hold for me. After spending the day acclimating to the people, the heat and the local environment a small boy runs up to me while I’m reflecting on the days events. It’s nearing dark. There have been so many small children through that I remember if I’ve seen him before. He holds out his hand and in it is a ripened sugarplum…he wants me to take it. Having been in many developing countries where all the children are trained to ‘sell and beg’ I smile and ask him ‘how much?’, automatically assuming that he is wanting something from me.  He looks at me strangely, saying nothing. I ask again, and he smiles as he lays the sugar plum on the table and runs off in the near darkness.

 

The wonders of a simple act of kindness…

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