They say that a picture is worth a thousand words…….. but for me this picture is worth more than a thousand words for it represents Joyce’s life.

In November of 2011, Joyce had just completed two years of nurse’s training and that was a miracle. Her family were only able to find the finances to put her through all but the last semester of her second year. She applied for a scholarship from Kibaale Community Centre which was granted. This enabled her to finish her two years.

It was in January 2012, that I meet Joyce. She was giving back to Kibaale Community Centre for providing those required funds. She had been working in the clinic without a salary for the months of November, December and January. She was extremely thankful and so appreciative of the financial support…. and the only way she could say “thanks” was to work in the clinic.

It took me sometime to truly understand that Joyce was working in the clinic for free. She was not receiving a single shillings. She always had a smile on her face and work exactly as if she had been hired…….. with this dedication she had my heart. I was so dumbfounded and amazed the work she was doing as “thanks”. So, of course, I hired her. How can I not!!!! I did need another nurse and she was already doing the job like a professional.

It has been a year since I hired Joyce. It has been a good year… she has made mistakes and I have misunderstood many things but we have always worked it out….. So on Jan 29, 2013 I was totally surprised by her resignation. She would be leaving Kibaale Community Clinic in three days to start a new job at Rakai Hospital, on February 1, 2013. Yes, she only gave me a couple of days notice but I was told that this was an acceptable procedure. I am sad at her leaving but like a mother, I am excited that she was feeling confident in nursing skills to move on. All I could say is Well Done!!!!!!!!

So what has the picture to do with Joyce. Well, like almost everything that happens at the clinic I learn something new. I learned that since Joyce left the position on good terms, in other words she was not fired, it is our responsibility to provide her with transportation to her new job. What I understood was that I was to move her. So late in the afternoon of January 31, I pulled the land cruiser up to the back of the building Joyce was living in and watched as everything she owned was easily put into the vehicle. The only thing that did not fit was her bed which was tied to the roof. In one trip all of Joyce was moved. I was so humbled.

The picture is her new accommodation. Yes, it is a ten foot by ten foot room, a box with no sink, no bathroom…. it is just one room with a door and a window but it is acceptable accommodation provided by her new employer, Rakai Hospital. Joyce was so excited to show me her new place….. but all I could think about was “how could I possibly live there”.