Teaching and Training for Zimbabwe Nurses

by Adah Fisher

I've safely returned from Zimbabwe! My class of nine second-year nursing students that I taught and trained was made up of two guys and seven gals (shown in a photo below). I taught them nursing research, gastrointestinal conditions, and intensive care (ICU).

It wasn't all work: We had fun incorporating in our class such things as puppet shows, balloons, pipe cleaners, and clothes lines! Please read my update below that I'd e-broadcast to many in mid-September.

Zimbabwe Update: Meet the Class!

September 15, 2013

It's 8:20 p.m. Pizza is hot out of the oven. The living room is set. But not a person in sight! I'd invited my students over for an 8-o'clock celebration after they completed their exams — I was starting to think that they weren't going to show up. How I was going to eat four pizzas all by myself?

Were my students just being polite by saying that they were going to come although they had other intentions?

At 8:30 p.m., I hear voices approaching. I open my door to find an excited group of students at my doorstep, perfectly on time according to their Shona culture.

Washing before meals has an important value to them, so I poured water over their hands into a basin, blessed the food, and let the party begin! Although the pizza was cold, the fellowship was warm; by the end of the night, I had no leftover pizza but I had had lots of new laughs to fill my memories from of our last night together.

Adah sits in front of the Zimbabwe nursing students she taught and trained this fall.

Our final pizza party celebration with Adah's nursing students.

One of my students, Martha (above, in the back row far right), stood out from the rest. Sitting up front during each class, she was bold enough to ask questions even early on which is rare for students in Zimbabwe. She was smart and hard-working; I'd seen her acting compassionately in the hospital, despite having a stressful day. Tonight she turned to me, grasped my hand, and said with all sincerity, "Sister Fisher, (nurses in Zim are called "sister"), I really appreciate you coming to teach us. I've learned a lot from you and I'm really grateful. Thank you so much for coming. And God bless you."

The evening took an unexpected turn when the students began to thank me and pray for me — in their Shona language — because I'd leave on the following day. I was really touched by their gratitude and sincerity. I hope that as they continue on, they'll remember and reflect on what I taught and modeled to them.

Below, I'll attach a few of my favorite photos.


See Adah's classroom and class of nine nursing students.

Adah's classroom and class of nine nursing students.

Adah joins a nursing student in the pediatrics ward.

Adah joins a nursing student in the pediatrics ward.

Adah and a different nursing student dressed up for eye surgery day.

Adah and another nursing student dressed up for eye surgery day.

Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds. — Hebrews 10:24