Week 10

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May 22nd 2011
Published: May 21st 2011
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The weeks are now flying by way too fast for my liking. This time in two weeks, I shall be up in the air on the way back to the UK! Scary stuff!

An update from my last week...

Spent Sunday relaxing in the 28 degree sunshine and did some documentation and what not while tanning! We decided to go to the supermarket in the afternoon to buy some more resources and gifts for the children at the home as leaving presents. We bought them a wash bag each, filled with their own comb/ brush, a sponge, toothbrush and deoderant for those who used it. We aim to give these to the children before we leave and also leave our reccommendations to the staff and the students of possible interventions they can do with the children to address their independence in self care activities.
I then went for a lovely picnic in the evening next to the Danube and relaxed in the evening sunshine, watching the sunset over Romania.

Monday was another glorious day at about 27 degrees. I spent the morning being a community OT, assessing and donating a wheelchair to an elderly lady who had heard about the wheelchairs which had been donated by Frontline. I managed to get this huge, heavy wheelchair into a taxi, down the street and carried up 5 flights of stairs, to this ladies house... Conclusion: Bulgaria is not wheelchair friendly! I was sweating buckets by the time I got this wheelchair to the lady, but seeing her face and her families when I showed up with the wheelchair was lovely. They were so greatful and very thankful of me bringing it to them and hopefully this wheelchair will provide the lady with more independence and reduce risks for the carers also. The family were teary as I left which was sad to see, however, knowing I had done such a good thing for them made the effort I went to, totally worth it.

We spent the morning at the Mental Health centre again on Tuesday and the students had provided the intervention this week, we were just there to observe and take part. It was nice to see the students working together with the clients and really making the effort, understanding their role their more fully. I think there is still a long way to go in motivation the students however, the changes we have seen in the last 9 weeks has really shown they have lots of potential if they have the positive role models to follow. We had a meeting at the childrens home in the afternoon to relay all our hard work to the majority of the staff. It was great to pass on our techniques and recommendations, I just hope they will now implement them and continue what we have begun to establish.

Wednesday was a brilliant day. It was the May celebrations at university for all the occupational therapy and physiotherapy students, which gave them the opportunity to do a presentation of their placement experiences and studies and share them with the other students. Our educator has asked us to present something so each of us took a different aspect of our placement to focus on. I presented about the childrens home and used a case study example of one of the children I had been supporting, explaining the occupational therapy process and how I have implemented the interventions to support her to achieve her goals. The presentation went really well. Using a translator, I feel I was able to promote Occupational Therapy to the students, showing how it is possible to apply the theory in practice, and get the desired results. We received a certificate at the end and a few souvenirs as a thankyou for supporting them the last few months.

On Thursday I had an even better day! Not only did I have a lovely surprise in the morning, receiving an early birthday present... a full body massage at a lovely hotel in Ruse... but then another surprise in the evening when I returned to the house after enjoying a drink in the centre, only to find a room full of friendly erasmus faces for a surpirise birthday picnic organised by Emily and Claire! Had a lovely evening together, enjoying a feast, blowing out candles on my FOUR cakes, ad playing party games! It was a brilliant day!

I spent Friday with the children at the children's home, continuing my goals and interventions then met with the director of the childrens home in the evening to discuss things with him... and also enquired about potential employment opportunities, of which I have a potential opportunity... (stay tuned for more information!)

Saturday was spent on a roadtrip with Elijah who offered to drive us to see Veliko Turnovo, the old capital of Bulgaria, a lovely historical town. We had a great day out, in the heat (30+ degrees), taking in the surroundings and had a nice time together.

We are going to church tomorrow morning to say our goodbyes (as next week we hope to be in Romania) and to thank them for their support and kindness they have shown us throughout our stay.

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