- Posted by Sara
- On April 10, 2019
- 1 Comments
- Earth Mission Asia, EMA students, Volunteer
It’s tough to identify the single biggest challenge in our 6-month adjustment from Pennsylvania, U.S. to Ler Doh (Kyaukkyi), Myanmar. But I can tell you the biggest pleasure has been taking my kids to work with me. This change of a closer, more parallel life of work and family is a welcome change.
If a job or profession in the U.S. is mentioned, there is only one Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work day. That day is fun but a separate event from what the job is like everyday. A 12-hour shift at the hospital meant I was gone for about 14 hours, usually without time for even a text message. Now my teaching schedule means I can be walked home from work by my beautiful daughters. In this safe neighborhood they can walk 10 minutes to my clinic classroom, poke their sweaty noses around the corner and make some new friends of their own. It couldn’t be sweeter for me to see the EMA students enjoy the children in small moments in the classroom and in many moments playing games and being together outside class hours.
At 13 years, Max has even been able to sit in on and learn from a few classes. The kids have played patient, once even getting slings and casts. The little girls at 5 and 3 years like to arrive a little early and hand out lollipops to kids in the inpatient unit or waiting area. And when our dear neighbor friend, little Hsa Wee was being treated for shortness of breath and tuberculosis, we could visit her here at the T-RAD clinic. Just today we watched and learned the process of blood testing, donation and then administration as my husband Jon donated the needed blood to transfuse to a little boy with thalassemia.
Close contact also means friction. There are times when schedules conflict or that lecture needs attention and I’m split between what must be done and who is shouting the loudest. When my mind is full of class to-do lists or I’ve used up all my energy teaching for a morning, dealing with the drama of a need for soda on the way home and, more importantly, who gets to carry it, is exhausting.
Bringing family and clinic close together has not been without challenges. However, this well-worn path between our home and the T-RAD clinic give us time to talk while we walk, see our surroundings and hear new sounds. What a welcome change this has been.
Sara is an EMA PA Assistant Training Coordinator & a Clinical Trainer in Ler Doh (Kyaukkyi). She and her husband Jon (EMA IT and Admin.) specialize -by His grace- in conflict resolution and the love of learning all things with their 5 children ages 3-13 years.