Working in an environment such as we have the last two weeks takes a toll on each of us both physically and emotionally. Each person deals with it the best they can and in their own way. And sometimes it will just come pouring out. It is usually something small that will trigger an unexpected response. Kristie is a third year nursing student at Queen’s University and this is her story.

Today was a very emotional day for me-and as I left my triage spot in tears over some things that had really disturbed me, I found myself beside a young girl in a school uniform, who asked me why I was so upset.

Her name was Pamela; she is 18 years old with three children. She is training to be a seamstress. I dedicate this post to her.

Pamela, you took me in when I was at such an emotional low and you treated me like a long lost friend. You let me watch you at work, copying down your lesson. You talked to me for half an hour to calm me down, telling me not to have fear. For three hours, you introduced me to your peers; you showed me how to dress the Kenyan way; you gave me a tour of your boarding school and dormitory; and most importantly, you put a smile back on my face on one of the hardest days I have had thus far. When it was time to go, you told me that you would never forget me-you were so excited that you had someone like the people you saw on TV-and you truly broke my heart when you said that you wished you were white like me.

Pamela, I may have known you only for an afternoon, but I will remember you for a lifetime. You are a beautiful girl for as they say in Kenya, “Smart”. Thank you for being there for me and getting me back on my feet again.

Your friend, Kristie

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