Sunday, March 31, 2013

Little effort … big dividend

A few entries back I wrote about an experience I had in a Dr’s waiting room … it was not too pleasant. I had just the opposite reaction recently and I want to share it with you.

I was in the very crowded waiting room at the UNC School of Dentistry. Even though I was early there were very few seats left and one of them was right next to me. I saw a very timid looking girl approach and then she asked in broken English if it would be OK to sit there.

Of course I said “yes” and then added, “you can help me solve this crossword puzzle I’m working on.” “Oh, no …” she said in a quivering voice “I no speak good English”. To which I replied, “That’s OK. Lots of the clues are way beyond me too.”

It broke the ice and after we laughed together she went on to tell me that she was very scared. She was from a small country in Africa and had met her American husband when he volunteered for a year in the local hospital there. Now he is a UNC student and was the one who had set up the appointment for her. She had never been to a dentist and it petrified her.

I was so happy to be able to tell her of my positive experience there and how the Dental students and their professors were very caring and warm people. I could actually see her relax a bit and it was just at that point that a young, female dental student came out and called her name. She jumped up to go join her but then she turned back and , with tears in her eyes, she gave me a big hug and said something in her native language.

I couldn’t decipher what she said but my heart heard it and I can feel it, even now, as I write this.





Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

You never know when word of encouragement may be all another person needs at that time, Ginnie. And you have given us all a great example. ENjoyed the previous post about your experiences at UNC dental school and your young dentist...good luck to him.

5:09 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

Beautiful post Ginnie. How lucky for that young lady to have picked the seat next to you.

7:50 AM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

Sweet story. Amazing what a few kind words can do for someone.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Vagabonde said...

What a wonderful sweet story. You made such a difference for this shy girl. I worked for 15 years with foreign trainees and one of my jobs was to take them to doctors’ appointments and hospitals. It helped them so much to have someone there to explain what was going on, and also with the language.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Aw, that's sweet. Perhaps her history with dentists wasn't all that good.

2:37 PM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

Wonderful! My granddaughter now 8 is from a small African country...Rwanda.

7:32 AM  
Blogger Name: Debra Garcia, M.A. said...

That's beautiful. Human kindness is the best thing ever!

10:25 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

So good that she met you and you helped ease her fear.

7:23 PM  

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