Interview of Birgit Bech
Good morning Birgit, you have been there sixteen years ago for one year of volunteering and today you come back to visit us with your husband, it’s a pleasure to meet you ! And thank you to take time to answer fews question on your experience
Why do you want to be a volunteer?
Birgit: I wanted to work as a nurse with patients, like a volunteer because it’s possible without degree in Israel.
Could you explain what is your mission in Jerusalem and more precisely in Saint Louis Hospital ?
Birgit: I was a care giver with patients during my one year of volunteering.
Have you done this job before coming?
Birgit: I knew how to take care of patients but it’s more complicated in the hospital, in another culture, another country
Did you find it difficult to adapt to this (new activity)/(your activity in another culture)?
Birgit: Not at all, I love it, I have been fascinated by the nurse, really dedicated for patients, it’s a reason why I become a nurse , because I saw dedication for patients.
Did this experience lead to a reflection on your original profession?
Birgit: Yes , actually the decision was taking on the rooftop; and I went to my room to fulfill applications for nursing school in Denmark, I went to Sister Lucy office and paid for the fax to send it in Danmark. (4 years in Denmark to become a nurse)
Is there an encounter that has marked you during your volunteering?
Birgit: A really amazing group of volunteers from a lot of different countries. In this group we had a Jewish nurse that explains to us a lot of things. I remembered one event, we decided to do our own Shabbat on Friday night together and it was really good!
What challenges have you faced? How did you deal with them?
Birgit: The most challenging thing is the culture because it’s so different than a European one. I had to learn how to respect different cultures, Muslim and Jewish, not to do something wrong by accident. I think that’s the most challenging things and then I had to face that because everybody’s at the last time of their life. Another thing, conflict, and a lot of trouble around because it was a time of trouble in Israel, people shot by accident, it’s the first time I eared, I saw a gun.
What is your best memory of your volunteering ?
Birgit: I only have to choose one ? It’s difficult ! I think the best … We have this patient, he always start the day by giving us a hug, he was very sick, he was only talking in Hebrew, a little German also but I can’t communicate with him, he was really in pain, a huge pain but he always said “Shalom” with a big smile, with morning hug. It was embarrassing at the start but after, every day even my off days I went to the hospital for this hug.
A last word ?
Birgit: I hope you get volunteers from Denmark again, because it’s a very nice place with different cultures, very educating place.