Today I helped my mother with her work in the clinic. People come to get malaria nets, shots, and packages of food paste; it's made of peanuts and milk and other things. The taste is okay, but I would rather have my mother's chicken wot. But for hungry children, it can keep them alive. Mother listened to people's hearts and looked in their ears and mouths, everything a good doctor should do. The women expecting babies also come and get special vitamins and advice. It's a lot of work but so much better for people in the nearby villages to only have to walk a little ways to get help. In the days before my mother became a health worker, it was many miles walking and waiting in the hot sun to get medicine; some people just didn’t go.
I asked my mother, when I am a doctor, where will I work? Can there ever be a hospital here instead of just a mud building that’s used as a clinic? “Yaset lej, daughter, you may have to be the one who brings that dream to our village,” she said. “You will have to speak loud and strong to many ears just to be heard by one. Change is a hard thing to make happen, sometimes.” But I also know that change can come quickly; the next village over has a new well, built by people from other countries who want to see clean water in Ethiopia. One day it was not there; a few days later, it was. Now they don’t have to walk miles to the river to get water.