Monday, November 30, 2009

A Good Woman, A Good Cause

I've been here for 7 weeks and Russ and I have no doubt made some new friends while we've been here--nurses, housekeepers, security guards, doctors, patients, and folks from the cafeteria. One friend in particular is my nurse, Joanne. She has been my night nurse many evenings and is a lovely human being. She is working her last shift at the hospital tonight to return home to her husband and her life in Ghana.

(doesn't she look cute in her new Longhorn scrubs?)

Joanne is a nurse and midwife who has dedicated herself to mothers and children in Africa (and Austin)! She is part of an organization that raises money to buy formula for the surviving infants of women who die during childbirth, to support a community feeding program, to pay school fees for young adults, and buy basic goods for these families and severely ill women during postpartum. Donations are welcome and appreciated!

Joanne's presence is something Russ and I look forward to. She is knowledgeable, kind, and a calm presence in our lives at this crazy time. She is one of the reasons our stay here has been "enjoyable." I can only imagine the impact she is making in Ghana.

The nurses organized a going away party for her and Julia and I were able to get out of our rooms and join them. I've been looking forward to it all week! They hardly recognized me with makeup and my hair halfway done. I'm so glad they allowed us to join them to say farwell to our nurse, our friend Joanne. She's made an impact on each of us and hopefully she realizes how special we think she is.

(Jackie, Chris, me, Laurel, Joanne, Julia, Stephy, Lily, Karen, and Sarah)
(Joanne, Chris, Laurel, Karen, Lily, Stephy, and Dr. DiStefano at nurse's station--Melinda, Annabelle, and Patricia are missing from the photo)
(Me, Dr. DiStefano, and Julia)
(Dr. DiStefano and Joanne)
(Russ poppin' the sparkling apple cider--thanks Lily!)

We are looking forward to seeing her again in June and meeting her husband too!

Goodnight Joanne!