There is a lovely woman who lives near our ministry named named Dieula (it means "God is here" in Creole). This year she began working for John and Jocie, the couple with whom I live. Every morning that she works, when I leave the house, she sweetly calls out, "Bonjou Dokte (Good morning Doctor) Brooke! Bonjou Dokte! Mesi Dokte!" I've had the conversation with her, repeatedly, where I explain that I am, contrary to her high opinion of me, not a doctor. I am a nurse. Being called a doctor scares me, to tell you the truth. This carries with it too many expectations of my ability and skill level. Unfortunately, sometimes in the Third World, lay people can sometimes be mistaken for medical professionals and are fine with letting that assumption prevail and trying out their "skills" on unsuspecting patients. You're a white missionary? Now those in your community treat you like you are a nurse, doctor, pastor, banker, and soup kitchen, all rolled into a neat package. John and Jocie find it exceptionally funny that Dieula insists on calling me a dokte. She used to give Ashley, my nurse co-worker at Child Hope (she moved back to the states last month- boo :( ), the same title. Last week, Asher, my friend Brittany's two year old son, stuck his tongue out at me when I greeted him "Good Morning". John scolded him, saying, "Asher, that's not how you should treat Brooke. She's a doctor, you know? She can cut that tongue out if you keep doing that." Fortunately Asher has not remembered that comment and does not run from "the dokte" when he sees her. John, Jocie, their daughter Kelly, who was visiting from Australia, and I were discussing my new title one night. Kelly is a social worker in Aussie land, where she works with refugees. For some reason the clients she works with sometimes refer to her as "Officer Kelly." I'm sure this is one of those incidences where You Had to Be There, because we thought this was hysterically funny. Here John revealed that he has told Dieula that I am a surgeon. Makes sense why I could cut off Asher's tongue then. Next I shall be performing surgery on someone's brain, probably in our kitchen.
Here is Dieula on her birthday. She dressed up very fancy to come to work that day. Jocie took some pictures of her with my camera. She came back the next day, dressed up again, to take more pictures with Brittany, Jocie, Susette, and I. I don't have those pictures yet because they are on Jocie's camera. So many Haitians LOVE to pose- not just smile- but POSE for the camera. Dieula ran and grabbed an apple for these shots.