During my recent stay at Frederick Memorial Hospital I met many wonderful nurses! A lot of them are from different countries on my favorite continent- AFRICA! One night at shift change my new nurse popped in to say hello and that she would come back to talk to me after she made her rounds. She was from Africa so naturally I was anxiously awaiting her return! The other nurses had prepped her on my obsession with Africa without my knowing and my favorite 4- Rhinos, Hippos, Giraffe, Elephants.
My new friend Diana Baker is from Kenya! Yes, I cried and could barely speak I was SO excited! The only words I could get out were “are you serious?!” and “tell me EVERYTHING!” I literally could NOT stop the tears of joy and excitement!!!
As we were talking she said she had something from home that she wanted to give me. It was a little statue of an elephant, nothing major but hand carved and painted in Kenya and she wanted me to have it. NO words can adequately explain what that meant to me or how that made me feel.
I’ve been putting off writing this post because I just haven’t been able to FIND the appropriate words to express the gratitude and joy in my heart from this incredible gesture from a complete stranger. I have been battling with my faith, a 4th hospital admission, a second virus, disappointing news from the transplant team, straight A’s in school and possibly having to quit, and a myriad of other troubles- my attitude has been stuck on BAD. My inner “beast mode” has been attacking itself rather than the circumstances in my life. Mostly I just wanted to give up. Digging DEEP to find one single sparkle of hope and coming up empty handed.
MY GIFT—> Gratitude + Beastmode= HOPE!
Diana brought me SO much more than a little trinket from Kenya. She brought a dream to me that I may never get the chance to experience in my lifetime due to my lungs- before, or after transplant. The actual item itself was WAY more spectacular than she made it out to sound. To me, it’s a VALUED TREASURE! She put it in a handmade purse made by the ladies of in the village. Each intricate wood piece is hand carved, the beads are hand strung and the purse is hand sewn. The “statue”? Is actually a rhino AND an elephant that sit on a little plate- hand carved and painted. In Kenya they speak 16 different languages but Swahili is the main one. Around the edge of the plate has words and sayings written in swahili and translated to english. The first saying is “Safari yangu ya Kenya”. It means “Day Tour In Kenya”. The back of the plate has the geographical sights most popular to the country- the 7 great lakes of the “Rift”, L. Victoria, the craters, and the specs. The pictures do it NO justice! This is a treasure that holds immense value to me! It is irreplaceable. It is beyond anything I could ever buy for myself and It reminds me everyday that There is ALWAYS hope- in people, dreams, and life no matter how bad things seem at the moment.
So Diana if you are reading this?
I would just like to say, from the most precious part of my heart- ASANTE SANA!!