To celebrate International Day of Families, meet Elle Lally, a Clinical Nurse Leader for Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). Elle is from New Zealand and has been at Sidra for just over a year.
Why did you decide to come to Sidra and Qatar?
It was mostly for the opportunity to have an adventure with our children, with the potential to travel as well. From New Zealand it’s a long way to Paris, London, Spain, Dubai or Istanbul…all places we have been since we arrived here! Before moving here we had never travelled internationally as a couple or with our children, so getting on the plane to move to the Middle East was our first experience of international travel, so an incredibly exciting experience but also very scary!
From a professional point of view I came to get the chance to be involved in opening a brand new hospital and for the opportunity to really extend my skills from purely a clinical role into developing my ability around management and project development.
How did the family feel about such a move?
We talked a lot about what opportunities it would bring us, and how NZ will always be home and always be there for us to go back to. There were definitely tears from all of us and times where we thought we were completely mad – but we decided to be brave and just give it a go. Our life was very stable, we had always lived in the same house and the kids had all been to the same school and had the same nanny for years, so it was a big deal to make that decision, but we are so pleased we did. It has taught us how adaptable we are and how change is such a good thing.
How did you and the family adjust when you first arrived?
We arrived and were very jet lagged! Twenty four hours travelling with three children was an interesting way to begin out international travel adventures! We had enrolled our children into school before we came, so they started school two days after arriving! We have a very funny picture of two very jet lagged children going off to school – although I think it helped as it was straight into a routine and getting on with our new life.
What activities do you do together as a family?
We spend time with other families, going to the beach, out for dinner to family friendly restaurants, to the park, to the Clubhouse where there is a pool and a playground. The kids love taking their scooters to one of the big parks with walkways, we have dinner at friends’ houses….it’s really not too different from living in NZ. We have lots of fun here!
Have you met lots of other ‘international’ families?
Yes! We love meeting people from all over the world; I have made some fantastic friends since being here. Being an international family inspires a real sense of loyalty to your home country so we also love meeting other Kiwis and sharing our stories of travel and life away from our home country. There is a sense of camaraderie as we all experience living life in a new country with a different culture from our own.
Is there anything you can highlight about your children’s experience here?
The kids are going to school with children from all over the world and being exposed to all sorts of different cultures which is great for them. My four year old is picking us all sorts of snippets of different languages! We hear Happy Birthday in Arabic and counting in French! They learn that there is a lot to life, but also how privileged they are to have this experience, something we think is very important for them to understand.
How did your husband feel about the move?
He is very happy to have this time with the kids. It’s been a great time for him to be a bigger part of the kids’ lives on a day-to-day basis. It has allowed him to return to study and work towards a degree in his area of work. There are many other Doha Dads here that keep in touch, share duties and socialize so he is very happy.