Tuesday, June 15, 2010

CHW Training at its Best!

The training for the CHW's could not be going better! We have exactly 50 people -- 43 women and 7 brave men attending the training. Several from Congo traveled by foot for hours to get to the nearest transportation while many in Kasompe live only 2 minutes away. They are having a great time getting acquainted. Today the main lesson was "Social Community Mapping." We went outside in two groups and drew maps in the dirt of 2 of the villages. On that map they drew roads, houses, clinics, homes where a child had died the previous year, and many other places of interest. When they were all satisfied with the map, one person took a magic marker and recreated the map on a sheet of flip-chart paper. We then took them in the classroom and discussed our findings. It was a very lively discussion!
They then identified a long list of illnesses found in their villages such as pneumonia, AIDS, etc. etc. They had to agree on the top three and they identified malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia. Back to outside and the dirt drawing board. Three circles were drawn in the dirt representing each of the 3 identified diseases. Each person had one stone and "voted" by placing a stone in the circle of the disease they thought was the biggest problem. Malaria won by a large margin. Rita, the ministry of health instructor helped them then work through a scenario of moving from the problem to a hoped for/expected outcome. You should see meal time!

They are feeding 60 people by cooking on one little charcoal burner on the ground. Yesterday we had fried chicken (which they had to thaw by boiling in water before they could cook it), nshima (cornmeal mush), cooked cabbage and other greens. Today we substituted beef for the chicken but everything else was the same. Amazing production!

Several are asking about the paper bead making and wanting to teach those who don't already know how to make them. So tomorrow we will take the supplies that Cherry sent. Wish you could meet these incredible people!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Zambia at last!

We arrived in Zambia this afternoon after spending a very tense 45 minutes waiting for our ride this morning. We did make it to the airport and got checked in but with only minutes to spare. We had a couple of delightful days on the Masai Mara in Kenya enroute. We received word a few minutes ago that the women coming from Luapula for the training did not make it all the way today and will not arrive until tomorrow morning. The ladies from Congo, however, arrived and are now tucked in at the church for the night. We are expecting about 50 people for the training. I was able to confirm with Dr. Martha this evening that the Ministry of Health is indeed planning to provide the instructor for the training. I was prepared to teach as backup but being able to teach without translation is so much better. So classes will begin tomorrow in Chibemba! Just to prove the trip is not all work with no play, the rest of our team is parked in front of one of the few tv's in the neighborhood watching the U.S. and England World Cup came. At the moment the score is all tied up.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

WorldService Corps Sending Forth

Eighteen young adult volunteers were commissioned and sent forth tonight in a nice service at The Temple. Two of them, Colleen and Lauren, will accompany us to Zambia on Monday. Two others, Brandon and Andrew, will meet up with us to travel to Cartagena in a month. Neat people! We're so fortunate to have them working with us in HealthEd Connect!

Friday, June 4, 2010

People are Amazing!

Neatly pressed dark green aprons with lined pockets and green and white trim for the HealthWorkers arrived today via express! The amazing women in Spokane Valley are at it again and burned the midnight oil to finish sewing them in time to go to Africa. And...get this....they thanked ME for giving them the opportunity to be involved!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Smiles for Cartagena Kids!

Five brand new red-white-and-blue leather soccer balls arrived today courtesy of UNIROYAL. These balls will be taken to the barrios of Cartagena, Colombia in July when we travel to survey a potential site for HealthEd Connect programs. There will be lots of happy smiles (universal language) and indications of joy (all in Spanish) I'm sure!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ministry of Health -- at last!

After 5 months of trying to get an email back and forth to the District Ministry of Health in Chingola, we were finally successful! I received news today that they can provide trainers for the June CHW training. JOY!!