My Life in Japan

The Ins and outs of my time here in Japan.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Where do we Turn? Who do we Turn To?

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After reading Jody's blog today about the Samoan student who after giving birth to her baby tried to hide it in the garden outside her dormitory brings a lot of unsettling questions to mind.
Like who does one turn to in times of trouble when they are too scared or too ashamed to ask help from family and friends?
Who can they share their burden with whilst being assured of discretion and absolute confidentiality? (is this possible?!**)

One of the first thoughts that came to my mind was a story my momma told us when me and my sisters were young (Yes I once was young mom was very open with us concerning all aspects of life,love, marriage etc.
She touched upon the topic of pregnacny one day n said "Should one of you fall pregnant and if whoever knocks you up" * not her words but u get my drift* " does not want to marry u or acknowledge the child. Your father and I (dad was not part of the conversation nor was he anywhere near) will take care of you and your baby. However if it happens again, it will mean 2 things 1: You still have not learned and are extremely gullible or 2: you actually like it and with that you will have closed the door on yourself " (dear old mom never one to sugar coats her words)

Anyways on with the story : When she was working at our National Hospital back in the days there was an English nurse who was also a nun who worked in the Maternity Ward. My mom said that whenever a young girl in labor was brought in she could feel how uncomfortable the other nurses on shift were. She discerned the same look on the faces of those bringing in the young mothers to be. Sad aye?

This was not so with the English nun, mom went on to say how she'd tend to the patients so tenderly and with her limited knowledge of the language tried to comfort and encourage them. The memory that has stayed with me was what the nun said to one particularly distressed girl of about 19.

After giving birth the girl refused to hold or even look at her baby. After the baby was cleaned up the nun brought the child to his mother for his first feeding. The girl refused to take the baby until the nun said ..."Tilotilo i lau pepe, fai mai le Atua o o'u foliga na ua avatu e foliga iai lau tama. E faamanatu atu ai lou alofa ia te oe"
" Look at your baby, I have given him my face to remind you that I love you!"
Yes love can cover all.
Hosted by SparkleTags.comPerhaps God did not really say that but its not impossible, even if that nun just said it to make that young mother feel better. How wonderful it must have sounded to someone who must've been carrying a heavy load of guilt n shame.

I wish someone, anyone had spoken a word of encouragement to that young student.
How different things might have turned out.
This is a problem that needs fixing NOW before another precious life is lost or destroyed. It can happen to anyone, to people we love and care about.
Hosted by SparkleTags.comMy daughter was born in the first year of my Masters Degree my situation was a little different as I had a fabulous support team. Koyu, Line, Nydia, Edna, Patricia and the rest of the Crew. There were some difficult moments but everything worked out in the end.

In recognition of my heartfelt gratitude I named my daughter after the girls Kolinyedcia in abbreviation of all their names. It wasn't much but at the time it was the only thing a financially strapped student & new mother could come up with.
But in all seriousness I too needed help to sort everything out. In retrospect of my situation compared to that of this poor student in Otago I belive I was mighty blessed.

2 and half years later. My family all together...One degree down and one to go, my daughter has become a naughty lil' minx (quoting Mr Simon Cowell of American Idol) healthy and happy. Everyday I learn something new about myself whenever I am with her hopefullys she's learning something too. As mentioned in an earlier post Kolinyedcia has her own place in our University. She's coveted the distinguished Title of APU
Hosted by SparkleTags.comGetting back to the issue : My prayer is that this young girl with help from God, her family and friends will be able to get herself together and move past this dark episode. Granted it will not be easy but from the shards of her old life she can forge a brand new one.
Little sister I pray that you will be comforted
image hosting We all make mistakes, some life threatning others not so serious. How we deal with it is sometimes influenced by the reaction of others (family /close friends/society etc.) Usually we can get ourselves off the ground if someone puts out a helping hand.

So please don't knock someone who is already down.
Don't sneer or laugh when someone even those you are not very fond of get in trouble.
Somebody somewhere quoted "If Malice had a physical shape it would be that of a boomerang"
Please spare a kind word or always have one on reserve. You never know one of the people you may have spoken to within the course of a day would sincerely appreciate it.
images Note to self : Be a little more sensitive, a little more understanding, forgiving patient and generous.
No I am not striving for sainthood (my halo is still intact) *jokes* Nah we have enough of those self proclaimed "Purrrfect Beoble" already.
Hosted by SparkleTags.comLife is not always easy but most of the troubles that some consider insurmountable can actually be worked out given time and patience. Some parents can and do get over the shock of a pregnant daughter though a little disappointment may linger it is usually washed away once they see the little baby's face.
Even the coldest heart can melt at the sight of these immensely cute little creatures
People will talk, some will point fingers, other will turn up their noses others will pretend not to know you but all these obstacles can be overcome with a little faith in urself and a lot on da man above.
image hostingAll I can say is that for those who insist on carrying on with their fia kanak ways they'll just have to bite the bullet for as they say in France "cest la vie". Yup yup get ur heads out of the sand people we are living in the 21st century.
There are more devastating probs to consider such as how to change the ignorant minds of the NCC and let the sachiks watch DVC *jokes*

Pregnancy is the natural result of having unprotected sex. Lesson well learned no need to rub it in. Not being able to watch a movie coz a bunch of old guys think they know u better than u know urself is not natural and has to be remedied. But I'll strobbit there as this poor topic is like already been thoroughly discussed.
Hosted by SparkleTags.comSo in answer to my question where do we turn, who do we turn to??
Hopefully to :
- loving & understanding parents.
- Loyal and trusting friends.
- an Accepting and forgiving church
- a responsible and supportive partner/boy friend/sperm donor etc
- a compassionate support group initiated by govt.
- our everloving ever forgiving God who clearly states in Isaiah 43:25
" I even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more."
So when you are tired of looking around.. look up!
image hosting For everyone who has been touched by this tragedy. Let us all strive to do what we can to prevent this from ever happening again.
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6 lilsifi:

  • At 11:16 PM, Blogger Peachy.. said…

    Thanks for sharing your story with your readers. I have always wondered if your daughter's name had a meaning-( sounded unique ).. What a tribute to caring,understanding, and loving friends. We all need friends like that in a world that can be so cruel and shun one from existence. Well said, very touching and eloquent. I think every family goes through the same situation be it a sister or cousin. My youngest sister gave birth to my nephew during her Sophomore year @ Chaminade. Yes, quite understandable for them to express disappointment/devestation but just as that overcame them- LOVE took over and they reassured my sis to love her unborn child, to not worry and they will take care of Baby while she finishes school.. Baby has been raised in Samoa by very loving and devoted Grandparents.. Sis is graduating this Winter semester with her Degree in Psychology and has been holding down a job at that to help raise Baby too. E moni ma fa'amaoni lava le afioga a le Atua, OLE ALOFA E UFIUFI AI MEA UMA. Thanks Dasifi.. You have made me look at this issue with compassion and sensitivity - as forementioned... Fa'amanuia pea le Atua ia te Oe, le Afafine ma le aiga... Manuia..

  • At 6:55 AM, Blogger Goddess of Savaii said… definitely have a knack for expressing yourself so friggin' eloquently...lucky cow.

    now that i know a portion of your angel's name is Nydia.
    Boy, i worry.
    If your daughter is a little too ulavale bordering kalepe mea...that's the nydia phase kickin' in...hehehe

    nah,...back to the issue...e sa'o lelei oe about the nurse attitute at the hospital.

    we took my 18 year old cousin two years ago when she was in labour and so so so fearful of childbirth...there we were reassuring her, and what does the nurse says???
    "Ea?? Aua laia le kagi...O oe lava ga e fiafia i le kekega ma le kama., kuu laia o lau kagi!"

    im like...uuummm, hellloooo???
    where the love????

    and then you wonder why some go off and swig on pesticide!

    keep posting suga!!!

    take care,


  • At 2:08 PM, Blogger dasifi said…

    oh well???
    thank u for the kind words as usual n congratz to ur baby sister. Viia le Atua i lona taumafai.
    There is always a light at the end of the tunnel if we persevere. Not taking lightly the support and love of our families.
    The tumbles n falls we've taken in life can prepare us for other obstacles that will come our way. It also enables us to be in a unique position to help others whose shoes we have been in should the opportunity arise.
    Again, faafetai asiasi mai.
    Take care n God Bless.

    the preediful is humbled to think that her ramblings are considered eloquent.

    Special thanks for reminding me that in a few years time. I will be checking myself into a mental facility once the Nydia gene kicks in *jokes*
    But really if my little girl gets to be half as bright as bebe Tino's brainiac momma, she will do alright.

    As for the Nurses in the Hospital back in Sa. I think they all need to be re-trained to upgrade their technical skills but especially the PR skills.

    They need to attend "Sensitivity Classes"
    When people go to the hospital, it's not only to seek medical help but a little mental relief as they are worried about their condition etc etc. Kasi lava le vaai aku i maka faasiasia ma le oke a le nurse koe fia alu i le fale.
    To be able to care (not pretend to care) should be made a crucial requirement in the job description for this line of work.

    Not everyone who works there has this kind of weird bumped out attitude. But such mentality has no place in a hospital.
    When u are young n pregnant your state of mind is already in a fragile condition, to be told off in such a crude way can drive you over the deep end.

    Wrong place,wrong time. They neither have the right to accuse nor judge.They just need to do their job to the best of their ability after all they are being paid to provide a service.

    "Somebody seriously needs to remind some of these public servants how to be professional.To read up on their code of ethics. May be u can send a little bird or make that a crow e lelei e leo kele to whisper in the ear of the new Health Minister. lol..

    Cheers dear.

  • At 1:39 PM, Blogger Goddess of Savaii said…

    fortunately, we have a very awesome woman health minister at the mo...yep...she da bomb,...(okay, i'm cheating here coz she's from my village!!) but the bottom line is that ...well, i can't be mean about the nurses, they earn something like SAT$6,000 Samoan tala a year, definitely overworked and underpaid and little room to progress onto, and their work is not easy., so for that reason, i won't critique their okegiaga o kegeiki, plus, they see it everyday.,and i suppose its hard to keep a straight face and be encouraging (at $2.40 an hour) everytime a 15 year old is wheeled into the maternity ward.
    okay, enuff blabbering, i gotta go home...but keep on hitting those keys ladeeesss...
    manuia le weekend

  • At 3:01 PM, Blogger dasifi said…

    miss savaii ia e dob lava le proud i le Health Minister laea: From the Big Island and a woman to boot yay!*thumbs up*
    I guess now we can expect a distinct and positive change in our Health Care System.
    We're off to a great start.

    point duly taken about the low wages and outrageous hours but the thing is that one also has to remember or bear in mind that not all of the young girls wheeled into the maternity ward were there by choice.

    Some were unfortunate victims of incestuous rape and to add slight to injury is more than one confused and broken youngster can take.

    As the daughter of doctor and a nurse I have grown up around and in the hospitals. Rest assured that by no means was it my intention to belittle this extremely valuable profession.
    My parents salaries however meagre (compared to what others in the same field were/are earning in other parts of the world) has helped put a roof over my head , food on the table and paid for most of my education.

    But I still believe we can do better in that area. Sick people dying even, pregnant girls whatever the ailment.
    A little compassion from your care giver can go a long long way in a persons recovery process.
    Yes we are all entitled to a bad day at work/home/school etc but there's a lot of compassion in our people nurses/doctors/policemen/teachers/
    bank tellers/immigration/customs officers etc they just need to be reminded to show it more.

    Ia ae sei alu foi lenei sui e fai se feau o le blog blog uma ae mole le manava i le airena fai se
    Take care n Thanks again.

  • At 12:04 AM, Blogger dasifi said…

    ahem "I meant add insult to injury" si keige foi la lea o broken ingurishh neeways I am pretty shua u know what little me meant.


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