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Walking into a group home and spending more than eighty hours working with developmentally disabled people and sometimes old men was not what I signed up for when I hopped into a plane to come to this new land yet certainly it is not the worst thing that has happened to me, in fact it is one of the best experiences I have had. As I write this actually, Im finding it challenging to call one of my employers to ask to be posted closer to home, not because I will be risking my job but just because I actually had fun working.
I hopped into a plane with a different set of dreams, I was going to attend law school and begin what was to be a very long and great career as one of the best lawyers this great country has. So beautiful was this dream, the picture of a beautiful wife standing in front of a cute Maserati and a mansion in the back and do not forget to add beautifully tended lawns and some long cute trees into the picture. Then that would have been enough.
Working in a group home was but just a desperate move. I was simply trying to make ends meet. I worked in the mall, folding clothes and talking to customers was not really as bad a job as it sounds however it only managed to pay my phone bill and I wasnâ€™t ready to let my dreams go yet. I remember making the hard decision, then it sounded more like scratching a couple of old folks backs after they have outlived the great part of their lives.
Eventually I talked myself into the idea and with the help of a great friend I got myself a job. I remember being scared throughout my first shift. The kind of things you are trained for are actually scary, all sorts of seizures and behaviors that need behavior plans, the kind of thing that can get that Ndondori fella scared. Frankly, those trainings sound more like being prepared to face death daily, which is definitely not the case.
Now, every time I meet someone it gets me thinking, it brings these long set of questions. I would say this environment has really prepared me for life. The guy I see in the mirror everyday now cares more about life, more about cooking, washing dishes. I have the great opportunity of working with a very old but formerly successful person.
I looked at the person and I had to think about my life after retirement, is being a good lawyer or a successful politician really enough. At some point I believe that what may sometimes look like a really big dream; the having a beautiful family, a nice home a great career is really small a dream. There must be more to life than just the simplicity of existence.
Ambition is good and looking forward to a great career is very important, but more defines life. It is the satisfaction that what you do has an impact that is the beauty of it all. Group home people donâ€™t just wash up old guys, they give people a life beyond; they give hope and offer friendships to those who had reached an end.
By Dan Irungu | email@example.com
There is nothing wrong with dreaming and pausing for a while. I have a problem who taking status quo attitude and justifying it because someone you are taking care of has convinced you that what you are doing is your calling. I could be wrong but that sounds like someone who met a family that tends to make him or her that he is the best thing that ever happened to them.
Get this right, they will love you, give you tokens but what about your life later? Why settle for status quo. I know someone who worked as a bay sitter/maid, the family made her feel so special that they started planning to buy a house with her in mind, (servant's Quarters) and because this person was in colege, (thank God), they wanted her to change her major to Eraly childhood. Were the individual a young naive individual, she probably would still be now transformed into an old maid and ("Old Maid). This system is designed for the fittest-everyone for themselves, and as long as you are valuable to the person, they will cater to you and if they catch you when vulnerable, there goes your dreams. Give and perform for your salary, not for empty flattery and puppy love. Remebe why you came here and keep trudging. Money is good, but eventually doing what you love, without the $ or promotion incentives is great. I am not convinced that the individual above is there yet. You may never be a lawyer, but you might be someone else.There is nothing wrong with these jobs as long as you know why you do them, but the tone in the writers voice makes me believe they are regurgitating what has been preached to them. Good luck. Wake up this is not a dream, it is reality, get back to dreaming BIG.
1. If you have to move, do so. Somany People are moving South where life is cheapand education is cheap
2. Get your ducation and then move back East or North.
3. Remeber you ar estrong and valuable than those you work for will ever be.
Good piece bro.Kazi ni Kazi naukiipata Fanya kwa bidii.I use to tell the guyz that the $ dont smell n it's a matter of how u plan yrself ukiipata.I rem my 1st job when I moved to USA I worked in assisted living with diamentia folks,Sema kumixiwa na life,changing them diapers n talking to my old folks in a very lower voice ensuring them my safety.Watu wangu Kazi niliifanya mpaka same yr nikapewa employee of the year. After 2 yr service nikaingia disability field,kungogwa,kutemewa mate,majamaa wangu kupotea from the facility mpaka I got known to the police station nearby.Humble beginnings
.12yrs lateri decided to return to kiambu county for good,no regrets.Now I lawn my trees n beautiful grass on my beautiful stone Hse attending to my 20 dairy cows while watching my kids play on my lawn.
So bro Kazi ni Kazi n as long as u plan yrself u can drive yr meserati n lawn yr grass.Appreciate yr job where u r for now n make a difference.All the best
I did all kind of jobs while I was in college. One thing I learned is that when you get to a certain age you need one floor house that is wheel chair accessible. If you are building a retirement house make sure you have everything on the first floor. Old people do not go down stairs or upstairs. I would go downstairs/upstairs and take pictures and bring to my client whenever they did some repairs.
@Ujinga wingi, babies, very sick people and very old people cannot change their diapers not matter which country they live in. You are very naive.
@Dan Irungu, how much do lawyers make? Six figures. How much do caregivers in a group home makes? Just above poverty line. Get your fire burning and stop embracing poverty.
Awesome, I'm glad you love what you do and you have used that opportunity to grow in other areas besides ti being just a job. Also glad that you are not ashamed of what you are doing despite how those kind of jobs are frowned upon by most . Being humble and finding contentment is such a great gift . Bigs up for reminding us to always see positivity in life and when we are handed lemons, we learn how to make yummy lemonade!