You found my number in the smalls of the local paper. Its message, or rather its plea, read “Reliable, trustworthy person looking for domestic work. Please call Hope 0834432933”
You phone and asked that I come to your house for an interview. The R20 I used to get a taxi was meant for airtime. The Departement said they’d call in ten days. It’s already been 14.
I convinced myself that they meant work days. The call will come. It had to come.
In the interview you only talked about what the job would entail. You didn’t ask me one question about my life or qualifications. If you had, I’d tell you that I’m from Zimbabwe. That we came here in the hope for a better life for our family. You would have known that I am a qualified teacher. That my husband was a manager on a farm. That we had a car, our own house. We had to leave everything behind when the farm was occupied. We tried to find work in Harare. We were not the only ones.
There is so much I miss about teaching. The nervous laughter on the first day of school. The hunger to learn. The reward in helping a struggling student understand difficult work. The eagerness of the top students to impress. To them I was someone special. Their teacher.
Now I work in your house. For less money than you and your friends spend on coffees and cake. I don’t complain because at least my children won’t go to bed hungry tonight.
I told myself that this job will only be temporary.
The Education Department said they would call when a job becomes available.
It’s been 8 months now.
But the call will come.
It has to come.
[Written for Day 5 of the 30 day Writers Bootcamp project @writersbootcmp]
Image from Flickr under Creative Commons License