Sister Margaret Wambui is in her second year at Alverno College, the women's liberal arts college in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her work back home, led her to study there. “I’m from Kenya East Africa and I worked with people with HIV AIDS and when I was working there, they would ask questions which I couldn’t answer because I was not a professional in that area and when I was working with those people and I could see them suffer I didn’t have anything much to do so, I requested to do more education in Nursing,” she says.
“I came to the United States because of education and I was asked by my congregation to come and do my studies here and I got a scholarship with the college and that is how I found myself at Alverno which was needed for my Nursing studies and to have more education in that area.”
As Sister Margaret mentioned Nursing is her major, however most of her classes so far have been introductory coursework. “I’m starting my classes of nursing next semester. I was just having my basic introduction to it,” she says.
“I like it so much the teachers are so good I feel this is really where I need to be and first thing I get a broader view of what a Nurse is and what is expected of a Nurse and that I am going to deal with people’s life and they are going to rely on me to live and to decide sometimes for them on what is needed today,” she says. “So my Nursing classes will start in the fall semester.
The only adjustment Sister Margaret says for her has been learning to eat American food. “So far I like Alverno very much. I haven’t found any difficulty. The teachers are very committed in their teaching and they want you to come from Alverno fully, fully free with a lot of knowledge if I may say that and they really commit their time to teaching and if you need more help you can go to them and they will help you,” she says.
“When I ask questions they are answered and if I don’t know where to go I would ask somebody and they would take me to the area, so I have not really encountered any hardships so far. The only thing I have to get use to is the food because I wasn’t use to the American type of food, but so far so good.”
When it comes to her education, Sister Margaret says not only is it important to her, but many many people back home will benefit as well. “Education is very important for me because if I have to deal with the people in the area I am taking nursing classes, I will be able to handle and explain to other people what all of this is about and as a women I feel very proud to have education and when you empower a women you empower a whole community and I feel it is one of the basic gifts you ever give to a human being and by teaching other people and educating people who don’t know anything about it.”
Now that it is summer, Sister Margaret is continuing with her studies at Alverno College. “I’m taking some classes and at the same time maybe I will use the time I have and if able I will travel a little bit and see different areas so I will have part of July and August to meet other different people from different areas.”
Sister Margaret will graduate in 2009. Then she wants to return home to Kenya.