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Published: April 2nd 2009
So, I should start with the bad news and get it out of the way. I think I heard somewhere that bad things come in threes...
My three this month (in no particular order) are: my ipod was stolen, my garden was destroyed, and my boyfriend broke up with me. As for the first there is not much to say...I was really sick (A lovely case of viral gastroenteritis) and while I was passed out in between my sprints to the toilet someone went into my bag and took it 😞 For the latter, I'm not comfortable talking about THAT. And for my garden, it was a little special form of nuisance by the local little ewes (aka: rotten kids). While I was at work these children were in the habit of breaking into my garden and stealing my maize (which would have been perfectly fine with me because I didn't really want maize in the first place but my gardener at the time thought I needed it - he doesn't work for me anymore). However, the kids would leave door open so that the goats would come in so that I would 'think' it was the goats fault (even
though the door was clearly tied shut). So I came home one day to find 5 goats in my garden and my plants totally decimated. Yeah, real nice.
Okay, so now that that is out of the way...
March has been a busy month! I returned from Lilongwe late February (to see the LAST nurse - besides me - from the '08 health group go home) and I have been running around like crazy since. My students finally came back Sunday, March 1st, and the 2nd we started back with classes. I had 6 weeks to teach all of the GI disorders before their final exams (which take place after Easter), and on top of that we (Hiram and myself) had to run our "Health Group".
Hiram actually was the one to first implement this group, so I shouldn't take too much credit for it. We started it in late October. The purpose was for the students and staff to work together to do health-related projects out in the community. Before Christmas break we had decided that we would conduct a Cholera health talk to the guardians at the hospital, and conduct a debate with the students
at the college about HIV/AIDs. BUT, with the 8 week delay everything was kind of thrown off.
SO, our first meeting was ALSO on March 2nd. At the time we decided to conduct the Cholera talk first (since we were getting plenty of cholera cases in the hospital) on March 14th, and then the Debate the following weekend on the 22nd. THIS plan changed, HOWEVER. The students were supposed to meet us the Friday before the Health Talk (Friday the 13th) to make sure everyone had their parts ready. Hiram, Falice and I got to the meeting on time, and we waited almost 2 hours for the students to show. No one did. So we went home (this is not unusual in Malawi, you say 1pm and they roll in at around 330pm...). Hiram met one of the kids on the way back and sort of yelled at him, and the rest came by our houses around 9pm to apologize for forgetting the meeting.
The long and the short of it was we decided to post-pone the health talk to the 22nd (IF the students showed up) and the Debate for some later date to be determined. In
the end the cholera talk worked out perfectly. We had 4 students along with Hiram, Falice and myself. We collected all the guardians at the hospital, and then proceeded to tell them the ins and outs of cholera...how you get it, how to prevent it, signs and symptoms...Hiram even taught them how to make ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) and I demonstrated waterguard to clean their water. In all it worked well and many of the guardians participated in the discussions.
Two other things happened this month.
The first: Hiram and a few students were asked to paint some murals in the under 5 clinic. I helped some, and took lots of pictures.
The second: Elly's last day of work was March 27th. So we had to organize a few activities for her. First, we had a going away tea party for her on Thursday the 26th (apparently some of the staff would be out of town on the 27th), and there was plenty of dancing and dramas devoted to her leaving. She had the idea of doing a "Game Day". I am not sure how to explain it except that we invited all the hospital and college
students and staff to compete in games like tug-of-war and 3-legged race. It was a fun day, but a bit crazy to organize ("Miss Hosey" from tkd came out a little bit during the games though, so I think the students kinda were taken aback when I started barking orders since I am usually relatively passive in the classroom). Afterwards we awarded prizes and had a disco (dance) for them as well. In the end I think it was a good time, and the students and staff really enjoyed it.
SO, now I am in town...Tomorrow I am going to a training for the Malawi Blood Transfusion (like the Red Cross back home) before heading back to the south this weekend. I should be back in town near the end of the month for a Medicinal Garden training, IF I can get the funding for it...
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