“Hello! My name is Nurse Yaya, or Ms. Yaya. I am from Cameroon and this is my fifth year in Japan. I have a degree in nursing, and I am the new Student Health Officer at Sacred Heart starting in August. I am super excited to be here, and I am looking forward to all the challenges and meeting all the students because I hear they are such sweet people.
Coming to ISSH was a wonderful change. Despite how my other schools were, it’s fulfilling here because here I work in what my field of study is. So that’s the most fulfilled one can ask to be, right? Especially in a country like Japan where I don’t speak Japanese, I knew that penetrating healthcare would be difficult. But here I am. So I was very excited when this came along. I was like, “Yeah, really?! Yes!””
I worked at a different school before I came to ISSH, but not as a nurse. I was a teacher. I taught English at an international kindergarten and preschool. So this is my fourth international school. All my other schools have also been smaller schools. But here? There’s so many teachers. There’s so many students. It’s definitely a bigger student body, different role, but I’m happy. I’m fulfilled here.
As long as I am able to help people, I’m good. That was my main motivation for this job. I remember when I had just graduated from nursing school I was at this job and I worked at the intensive care and it was just a lot of death. When I came in I was this young nurse, and I did a lot of stuff, like back then I had shaved off all my hair and dyed it blonde. So it thought it would be like, “Who is this blonde person in intensive care?” But instead it was this opposite reaction because not only did I have this blonde hair, I had this nice, bubbly personality and it was just like, “Really, this matters to you guys?” So I knew I wanted to help people, but I didn’t know it could be as simple as coming in with a positive attitude.
On hard days, God gets me through. There’s a lot of things but it all boils down to having faith in God. And if it gets too tough just take a nap. Really, I honestly really believe in a good night’s sleep or just a good rest. There’s a lot of things you need to do but just take a nap when you can. God is great and he is in control at the end of the day. All good things, all bad things, you just have to have faith. But as important as your belief in God is believing in yourself.
Eat healthy. Get lots of sleep — I cannot stress that enough. Drink water. Exercise. That’s the key to a healthy life. So it really just revolves around that.
And you know, don’t take — this is just general life advice — don’t take things so seriously. Don’t take things so seriously because no matter what is going on now, in five minutes, five hours, five days, five weeks, five months, five years, you’re not even going to remember it. And you know what, in five years, if you do remember it then it was important. And if you don’t remember it then guess what? You spent five minutes or ten minutes of your life stressing about something that doesn’t even matter tomorrow. So don’t take things so seriously. Take it with a grain of whatever seasoning you like. A teaspoon of soy sauce. A grain of salt. I like pepper. A grain of spices.” — Ms. Yaya