Friday, November 5, 2010

November 5, 2010 - Rose is a Rose

So I am about to write something that anyone who has been reading this blog for the last few years would never expect me to write: I love our housekeeper. My battle against having Kenyan staff has finally come to a close as I now finally realize what many other people living abroad have discovered: if you find the right person it is amazing to have help in your home!

Since I have been forced to rest for the last few weeks, Rose has not only cleaned places that I know not one other housekeeper ever cleaned in two+ years of living in this house, but she has also earned Grace's trust and love, and brought a true sense of calm and orderliness to our home. Rose is easy to communicate with, she is genuinely concerned about what/how I'm doing and if there is anything else she can do to help me, and she clearly loves Grace. So now I really do get it! If Rose had been with us since we moved here I would have had a VERY different perception of having staff and of Kenyans who are domestic workers in general. Rose is professional and polite; she always does things the way I ask her to even if her way is different (if I even feel like I need to ask her, which is rare); we have really nice and interesting conversations. I especially love that she is always teaching Grace when they play. Whatever they are doing, she is counting or saying the alphabet, practicing days of the week or colors, and singing songs. It is truly a pleasure to have her here; since I can't be the one pushing Grace on the swing every afternoon, I am glad it is Rose.

For awhile, when I was trying to work things out with our former housekeepers, I was worried that maybe I am a crazed, neurotic (dare I say a word that rhymes with witchy) woman who doesn't want anyone else to be with my child and will never be able to trust anybody who isn't related to us. I feared, for better or worse, that the problem was really with ME and not them. But having Rose here has taught me that NO! It wasn't ME! It was THEM! They were not right for our house, our family, our child. My maternal instincts didn't trust them because they weren't trustworthy. I trust and appreciate and am comfortable with Rose in our house and with Grace because she instills and provokes those feelings and because she is the right fit for us. PHEW! What a relief to finally not be stressed in my own home. Particularly given the pregnancy drama we've had with Rocky and the fact that we have no family or extremely close friends here in Nairobi since the family across the street moved, it is just nice to feel like we have a little bit of backup should we need it.

I am so grateful that we found her when we did. Her name says it all :)

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