Saturday, February 26, 2011

These children hate my guts….

….but their mother’s all love me. So I guess that’s okay.

[Totally unrelated: I’m sorry (and a little embarrassed to admit) that I have never fully grasped when it is exactly that you are supposed to use an apostrophe at the end of a word in front of the “s.” Is it ownership? Plurality? And what about conjunctions…is that what “that is” is?]

Okay, back to the original topic.

So yeah, I have rarely in my life received such looks of seething hatred. I thought I had had children hate me back home, but for some reason the children here possess nothing less than utter contempt for me. I am seriously afraid that one of them is going to succeed in making me burst into flames at any minute.

It is understandable. I make them sit up, I pound on their backs for chest physiotherapy (I teach their mothers how to do this as well), I only give them water as a reward for coughing, etc….all those generally mean nursing duties. I also smile at them and speak to them in a language they don’t understand…they seem to find both pretty galling. There they were, going about their lives, granted weak and easily winded in most cases, but minding their own business as otherwise normal Iraqi children no doubt do. And then I come along with this foreign medical team, and we crack open their chests, muck around with their anatomy, sew them back up, stick a bunch of tubes in their body, then wake them up, pull everything out and tell them to deep breath and walk.

I would hate my guts too.

But their mothers…they hug me, they kiss my cheeks. They grab my hand and thank me profusely for being part of this team that helped fix their child. Their adoration is in equal and opposite proportion to the amount that their children detest me.

So, like I said, I guess that’s okay.

1 comment:

  1. Love the honesty of this post. Nice work. Big props to you for making a difference.