Need some arguments for and against taking a job in Africa

Sarah - posted on 03/31/2016 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I have been a nurse since 1991, worked in CCU, NICU, post-partum and L&D. I have a MSN degree and for the last 6ish years have been a Certified School Nurse in a huge district. Most of you who know me, know that I love my job. I love the kids, the challenges, the flexibility and I am good at it. I get to work with all ages pre-K thru 12th grade. My kids are 19 (away at college and not returning as it is military college), 17 and in 11th grade, 14 in 8th grade and 11 in 6th grade. Boy, girl, boy, girl.
I have been offered an opportunity to go work in Africa as a Nurse Anesthetist. There is a huge program to educate nurses to give anesthesia to patients in cases that have a unnecessarily high mortality rate. Primarily women needing C-sections, gall bladder removal, appendectomy, and other simple OR procedures. It feels like a great and fulfilling opportunity. I have been planning on missionary work in the next year but this would be a much longer stay than a typical mission trip.
The big negative, my hubby says he is ok with me going but he does not want to go; he is a CT tech and could go and work if he desired. Other obstacles; my second eldest would be just off to college and I would take the younger two with me; there is an international school that they can attend. I think a year, two or even more living and learning in Africa would be great for my kids. My youngest, a girl would be thrilled, my son I am not sure. We have not really pitched this to them yet and won't unless I really want to go. I worry about our safety, the conditions and what would happen to my kids education next: would they come home and go to college? I am not super keen on leaving hubby behind, I trust him , he trusts me, but a year, two years, five? could my marriage last?
So bring up some arguments, if you think I am nuts to even consider this than say so. I was just proposed this over Easter and I was stunned to get the offer at all. If I go; should I take my kids? What do I do about my marriage? How long is even reasonable? The pay is better than I make now but not by much. My healthcare and life insurance would be covered. I don't speak the native language, but most people speak some English there.
I need clarity, so bring it on: ask questions, pose arguments, let me know what you think, you are mothers and I know you will be honest.

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Sarah - posted on 04/01/2016

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If I could get my husband to go, the decision would be easier. He has a point that someone should stay in the states with the older two. James will be in deeply enmeshed in his education and then who knows where he will be sent to serve after he graduates. Molly, will be just off to college, I will stay home until she is settled as I want to see her graduate next spring. The timing works well that Sam will be early in HS and Emma will be 8th grade and possible ready to start freshman year in the international school in Kenya.
I guess my biggest fears are taking my kids away from dad, as he does not want to go. He likes his job, and doesn't have the desire to serve like I do. Traveling back and forth would be costly, like once or twice a year, if that. I know electronically we can all keep in touch. Safety worries me, the living conditions. Am I really capable of the job? I don't have to go to school, but will be trained on site on the job.
Ask more questions ladies i need to really think this thru.

Ev - posted on 03/31/2016

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If it were me and I had the chance to do something like this or similar, I would do it for the chance not only to work with other people and make a difference in their lives but to also have a chance to see the world that I might not have otherwise. And to think that your kids would benefit from travel to another place and the experiences there they would get to encounter. Those are all positives though. The Cons as it were would be moving, changing schools, getting ready to go, making arrangements for your home and other things. Marriage is a hard thing as it is but I do know that if a couple is committed to one another they can do it separate or together.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/31/2016

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Sarah, it must be a very tough decision. I personally think that it would be a great opportunity, especially if hubs and the younger two could accompany you! Would he be willing to go with you?

I know it would be an upheaval, but think of the experience!

Ev - posted on 03/31/2016

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That is an opportunity of a life time. It would be hard to decide what to do. There is a lot to consider.

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