A meeting with a Afghani family



If we were having coffee I would like to show you one of our good cafés in my home town Herning in Jutland Denmark. I would tell you following story:


Today as I walked in my city Herning on my way to my car I suddenly saw a mother and her teenage daughter. They were very familiar to me and I said hello. They needed help to find an office in the city. The young woman had applied for a job in a nursing home and got it. Now she needed a photo as an identification at the new job. I walked with them to the  office.

The young teenage girl has finished her school in June and graduated so that she can study nursing as the next step.

Traditions at graduation in Denmark

Traditions at graduation in Denmark

I noticed that her Danish was perfect, her mother was still struggling with her Danish, being an illiterate, learning a new language is difficult. Still she had taken her daughter to my city by car.

The mother is wearing a head scarf the daughter is without.

As a health visitor in a small province town 44 km from my home I was there when the large family came as “quota fugitives” from Afghanistan in the early 2000s. This girl was then the youngest out of five of six children and about four years old.  I have been to many visits at home when the mother got two new children. She was so insecure of the health system that she chose to be alone giving birth to the boy who was born in their bathroom. She didn’t want to disturb anybody including her husband. The mother had serious kidney problems and slowly we helped her to have confidence in the hospital system. I never managed to engage the father in the children’s health matters.

I never met her older sons as they showed some clan mentality and got into fights and even shootings with Danish gang members. The local authorities helped the boys to move to another town and I have never heard about them again.

The girls went to school and learnt Danish and got friends in their small town. I also worked at the school as a Health Visitor and remember the happy eyes of the girls when they met me. I used to check the children individually and in groups for eyesight, hearing, general well-being and health lessons. This girl M and her older sister want to be a nurse just like me.

I know that my work was not in vain. It pays to invest in the people you meet in your life time. Sometimes you get a glimpse of it as I did today.

The teenager girl showed big surprise that I lived here! 

She had always thought that I belonged to the small town they came to in her early years and still live in.

If you are interested to read about our system for baby health care in Denmark go to “A post card from Denmark”.

Thank you to Diana for the possibility of sharing our posts at your #WeekendCoffeeShare!



    • You are so right Paula. I will never forget that and I always thought of what the mother had been through at home since she was so afraid of going to our hospital. I worked sometimes with an interpreter but often people from these countries don’t want to tell you about things


  1. Wow! I can’t believe that woman had a baby in the bathroom because she was afraid she’d disturb someone. In my opinion, she had every right to disturb someone. Having a baby is a big deal. What a strong woman!


    • Thank you so much Suvi. I love Finland so much. Have a dear friend and her family in Jacobstad. If you have time please look at my post called Why Finnish babies…. I would like to know if people still treasure the content of the baby boxes and how they share the things if they don’t use the baby things.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great story Maria! It reminds me of the principle of sowing seed… the Lord instructs us to sow but we don’t always get the privilege of seeing the resultant growth… Making it ever so much more special when we do! Very happy you got to in this case!


    • I am so glad you read this post Mike and today at the baggage drop at the airport The woman working there recognized me and I too remembered her. A lovely Polish mother from the same small town where I used to work. I am in Uppsala Sweden to visit my eldest son and his family

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s