It's been over 6 months since I even thought about the blog, let alone add a new post. Work's been busy. I've travelled quite a bit. And I celebrated the start of my 3rd year in Moldova working for Hospices of Hope.
Working for an NGO anywhere in the world is interesting and I count myself really lucky that I get to do it in such a great place as Moldova. I was invited to talk about why I love my job back in September at an event with several other speakers including a pilot, an Ambassador, a trainer and a lawyer. It was a real challenge to think about why I love my job and I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to communicate or how I could inspire. What could a group of young people who had given up their Saturday learn from somebody who goes around asking people for money? Not a whole lot, I thought. But then I realised that for me to talk about my job in an honest way, I would have to think out of the box and look at what I do from an outsider's point of view. And it hit me...this could actually be pretty easy because I do actually love my job...
I get to meet incredible people, I get to see things that many other people do not, I get to live in a country which so many have never heard of, but more than anything - I get to make a difference. Now I'm not saying that nobody else could do my job (I believe that nobody is indispensable and eventually I will have to leave Hospice Angelus to give somebody else a chance to bring something new to the organisation), but I realised that the work that I have done with the Hospice Angelus team has been nothing but rewarding. I get to go to my office every day and know that my actions will affect the lives of other people. If we don't raise enough funds to continue offering our services for free, people will suffer. Our staff won't receive their salaries and as a result, our patients won't receive their much-needed care. This is an extreme situation and I am thankful that we have been lucky enough to be supported so well by our donors and supporters that this has not happened. But when we do organise a successful event, or we do receive a positive response from a grant-giving organisation, there is no better feeling than knowing that what we have done will improve the life of someone. More often than not, many many people.
In October, we were approached by a Moldovan girl living in Pennsylvania whose sister was dying of AIDS in Chisinau. Our team was asked to go and visit this young woman and she was in a terrible way. She had lesions all over her body and was almost unable to communicate. She was 32 years old. Her sister came over from the States to visit and arrived just in time before she passed away. Hospice Angelus has very little experience of working with patients suffering from HIV/AIDS. In fact, education and awareness here in Moldova is so poor that patients are sometimes left alone to suffer by their doctors as some of them do not know the way in which the disease spreads. It's a sad situation but one that I'm glad to say may be about to change. Hospice Angelus has identified that there is a huge need for those suffering from HIV/AIDS and is currently writing a project for funding to work in this area. Again, this is a great opportunity for us to make a difference in others' lives.
Speaking at the 'I Love My Job' event made me realise that I'm lucky to do what I do. Sure, some days are frustrating and heavy, but these days are necessary for you to appreciate the great days that do inevitably come when you have the privilege of loving your job.
When I was growing up, I wanted to become an actor. I wanted the fame, the fortune and the glitzy lifestyle. Spending so much time in Romania and Moldova realised that there are far more important things to life. I saw this short video at the weekend which reminded me of one of the quotes I used during the talk:
Whenever it is possible, a boy should choose some occupation which he should do even if he did not need the money.
~William Lyon Phelps
See what you think.....