“I was just filling my cup and I wasn’t doing anything for anybody else”
In last weeks entry we had started to get into how Brooke ended up in Nepal we will continue that here.
Did the light bulb go off with a boom or was it a slow progression?
It was gradual, it was a slow progression and I want to say (pauses) the progression was just me just getting more and more dissatisfied and me getting less and less satisfied with the things that were in my life. It was all just kind of pleasure seeking, I was just filling my cup and I wasn’t doing anything for anybody else. It just became really dull and lame and boring for me and I didn’t even know, I had no idea, I just knew I didn’t have that spark in my life.
I think it all (my change) started when my mom picked up the Washington Post one weekend and there was an article about a young mother, Adwai who had just come over to the US from Sudan. She had just came over to Maryland. She had quintuplets and it was just her and her mother. They knew absolutely no one else. So there was a mother and grandmother and 5 little babies and no one else. They didn’t know one other person. They had been completely uprooted from their country and they were here now.
So my mom, being the wonderful person that she is, brought the newspaper article home and set it on the kitchen table and said we need to contact these people, we need to help them, 5 babies(Brooke laughs with a snort), you know they need help.
She got on the phone. She got onto the hospital where they were born. She called the Washington Post “how can I get in touch with these people?” There was no contact info, I don’t think they were asking for help specifically in the article, It was just an article about a woman leaving Sudan pregnant, coming to DC and having 5 babies. So after about a week of researching my mom finally got in touch with the nurse who helped deliver the babies and she gave us the address. We called the woman who was coordinating and helping the family and asked can we help out, you know can we come and she said sure.
One weekend it was my mom, my dad and I and I think my aunt came the first time, we went over to this little two bedroom apartment in Maryland and we walk in (Brooke snorts another laugh, eyes and face light up with excitement) and it was amazing. There were these 5 little babies that were the size of oh I don’t know a little bit bigger than a coke cola can, they were super small and super adorable and I met their mother Adwai who was only two years older than me, this blows my mind now, and the grandmother and they were wonderful. I started doing that every weekend, my mom my dad, my aunt and my grandmother started coming.
How old were you at this stage?
(Hesitation) ummmmmm I guess I was 24, I think I was 24 when this was happening. We would go every weekend and it was just amazing. It was amazing for my family to spend time together, to spend time with these little babies but also to spend time with their family and get to know them. It was really wonderful, so we did that for a couple of months, I want to say I did that for 4 months just on the weekends and I realized I want to do this full time.
I ended up quitting my job that I had in MD, my full time job. I would go and take care of the babies five days a week, I mean that was my fulltime job and I loved it., It was sooooooo sooooooo hard for me to get up to go to work for my real job, I was always 10 minutes late, I was always 2 minutes late, (all said with humor). It was probably twice as far a drive to go see these little babies, I don’t know it was maybe an hour drive and I was up each morning, just supercharged to go, such an amazing day every day.
It was kind of through this time that I got to spend a lot of time with Adwai, the mother of the quintuplets. We really became friends and she started to tell me about her life in Sudan and how difficult it was for her being in the US. How she didn’t understand our culture and how she felt really alone and isolated. Back home family is so important, you are surrounded by such a huge family and neighbors and community. It is so important to them and it didn’t exist in the community she was living in Maryland and it was really hard on her.
I wanted to reach out to her and be her friend and try and teach her about the culture here in America so it didn’t seem so foreign. We would go grocery shopping together, just do things, she had such a small window of time where she was able to just be. When she wasn’t sleeping, which she only got 4 hours a day, and I think that was when I really realized that this is what I wanted to do.