Friday, July 2, 2010
Manners, Culture, Life...and 000
I have had an extraordinary experience today...courtesy of an elderly, terminally ill Chinese lady and her elderly Vietnamese carer.
I was visiting my sister, who is very kind to her elderly Chinese neighbor, a Buddhist, with a daughter who is a nun, and a son who is a monk. Unexpectedly there was a knock on my sister's front door. A tiny old woman stood there in tears, explaining in broken, Vietnamese English that she was the regular carer for this sick neighbor and she was from the Chung Wah Association of Western Australia.
We invited her to enter the house, she did after removing her shoes. And when she explained that she could not get the old woman in her care to answer her phone or receive her at the door she became frightened that the old lady had perhaps "passed". She was scared and very brave in asking for our help.
I have spent time in China and Singapore with The Percy Institute and I was able to speak a tiny bit of Chinese with her to put her at her ease. It became very apparent that a call to 000 was necessary and after consulting the Ambulance service they suggested to me the Police service.
The tiny, gentle Vietnamese woman showed great composure and elegance throughout the crisis. It reminded me how very valuable a second language is, as I mentioned in my last post. And also a knowledge of the sensitivities and manners of other cultures. I was comfortable speaking with someone with limited English...and very respectful of her difficulties.
As is transpired, the elderly Chinese lady was extremely ill and unable to answer the door or the telephone...but she was rescued and will finish her days surrounded I hope by her Buddhist family.
As I am "busy" preparing for my European holiday, I was reminded today by the important things in life...love, caring for others...and an open mind.
I am taking my vacation on Monday. I will share my insights on my return at the end of July.
Kindest best wishes to my few readers, Louise