"But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving." 2Corinthians 8:11

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Straight Mall Walker

Yesterday we woke up to zero hot water and we had already been without water the 2 previous days so we were all roughing it without showers for 3 days (SICK!). But we were all champs about it and just rolled with it (as usual)! A few of us decided to walk to the Haven so we sported tennis shoes with our skirts and thanks to Sarah we got deemed "mall walkers" haha
It was our first day of work at the Haven and we were all really eager to get started. We were divided into 3 different groups: language, tutoring, and swallowing. Catherine and I were together working on language enrichment activities with the toddlers and infants with Marja supervising us. We basically met/played with the children in order for us to become comfortable with one another (aka: establish rapport!). Rach and Jaime worked with Caroline on collecting data for the medically fragile children who are at risk for feeding and swallowing difficulties. They were able to provide a lot of good information for the rest of us.
Last night we were given a welcome party by the mission. Mr. Phirri, who is the Superintendent and one of the main leaders of the Namwianga Mission schools, gave us a formal welcome; in which, his speech was so touching it almost made me cry! He mentioned how needed our services were here in Zambia and how appreciative they are we were able to come all this way to help out. The people of the mission also made us a FEAST of their traditional meal (rice, chicken, some red sauce, and CAKE!). Unfortunately, this was after we had already eaten supper; but it’s not like we could deny food that was prepared specially for us!!? Haha so to say the least we all enjoyed a nice “fourth meal” last night.
Today at the Haven we continued to establish rapport with the children and the aunties. We heard a lot more talking from the children today and we are beginning to learn the routines of each Haven. I must say, the aunties do an amazing job taking care of the babies and I don’t know how they have the energy every day. After just the morning session at the Haven we’re already exhausted! Tomorrow we are getting a little break and only going in the morning to the Haven, and then we are off to Livingstone to see the Moon bow. You can only see this phenomenon in a few places in the world and we just happen to be 2 hours from one of these places! Come Thursday, though, we will be back to work at the Haven in hopes of improving the infants and toddlers language, as well as, improving any swallowing or feeding difficulties in certain infants.
Even though we may get peed, pooped, or even vomited on (daily) at the Haven, the experience of working there is so rewarding and worth it all!

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