Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Once they warmed up to us and saw that we were helping their babies, they had no problems wanting to know what they could do to help! This was very exciting news. The language group made lesson plans that were easy for the Aunties to follow including, activities, songs, and manipulatives. The Dysphagia group, made paper flowers and suns that have developmental milestones on the petals/rays that the aunties can cross off as each child achieves their own goals. We also made signs for the bottles that gave advice for how to know which bottles are appropriate to give to the babies and which are not (flow of milk coming out of the nipple needs to be slow for babies) and signs at the changing tables also gave examples of how to stimulate language with their children. They loved the things we gave them and they all expressed that this would help them very much. The aunties were already doing a great job, but now they can be purposeful with their everyday routines and help their babies thrive. Most of us walked back from the Haven in order to think and have our alone time before we gathered together again. Knowing that today was going to be an emotional day for everyone, Rachel and I decided to bust out our plans for...the first ever ZAMBIAN GA OLYMPICS :) haha! We had been keeping this a secret for about 2 weeks and everyone was in good spirits once they were completed...SUCCESS!!
Events went down in this order,
1) Longest Leg Hair Competition (I Won of course!) haha, Thanks Dad!
2) Sock Sliding (Rachel won)
3) Chitenge Wrap (Sarah Hendrix won)
4) 40 Sec Clothes Pile On (Kaylee & Lacey won, this was a roommate event) 5) Unlock the Door Race (Sarah Hendrix won)
6) Chug the Bottle (Lacey won)
Dr. Weaver made Caroline "grandama" and Marja honorary members of R.O.S.S. (Royal Order of the Silver Slipper) It is a great honor!!
The overall Bronze Medal went to Kaylee, Silver- Lacey, Gold- Sarah. We laughed a lot and everyone got involved to make it a great event and happy ending to a tough day. It's amazing how God can allow us to find joy on the saddest days. Thanks God!! We leave for Livingstone tomorrow to have High Tea at the Royal Livingstone, Safari in Botswana, Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi, shop and shave our legs!! Please pray for our safe journeys.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Pauline and me!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Today was our last full day of therapy at the Havens. Rach, Lace and I are back on language duty this week and it is going really well. The kids have finally fallen in to routine, and are really responding to the language stimulation. It is nice to see these kids coming out of their shells and talking more. They are bright little ones with lots of potential.
We have been trying to get the “Aunties” more involved with therapy so that they can continue after we leave. It has been slow going on that front but we have managed to form so close relationships with some of these ladies. I am confident they will do some FANTASTIC language lessons after we leave.
Today is the wonderful Caroline Martin’s 30th Birthday. We are so lucky to have her here on this trip and we are luckier to have the opportunity to share in her first days as a 30 year old. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAROLINE!
We leave the mission in a week and the general feeling of the group is bittersweet. We have grown to love the babies here; each of us has claimed one of our own. We will be sad to leave them and I am certain I speak for everyone when I say that we wish we could take them with us. Home will be nice though. The land of reliable internet, hot showers, and few power outages.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
This picture doesn't do it justice! This was the nice part of the trail before we actually got into the bush where I was wishing for a machete. I had thoughts like: “What would we do if one of us gets bit by a black mumba or attacked by a cheetah?” going through my mind. So thanks but no thanks to the short cut!
Once we arrived at the Haven, Catherine went to work on her CAPSTONE research while Lace and I played with the toddlers from Haven 2. Charlie recently had to go to the clinic because his eye was swollen shut, we believe it was a sty that had gotten infected. He is doing tons better and today I saw him with a book, so I asked to see what he was reading. Well this is what I found…
A book cover with nothing inside. Nice.
When the Khaki Jackie arrived at the Haven with the rest of the people, our group had to do some readjusting because all of our babies at Haven 3 were at the clinic getting TB tested. Instead, we went to Haven 1 first for feeding group and no one was the “lead”, rather it was just more practice for each clinician. We have been noticing our little Lushomo losing weight lately, and today we noticed he was breathing quickly and seemed to take a lot of effort to drink his bottle. The haven nurse is supposed to check him out later today or tomorrow. Let’s keep Lush (pronounced: Loosh) in our prayers!
Caroline feeding little Lush
We headed over to Haven 3 whenever the babies arrived back from the clinic. When we got the group gathered together we noticed each one of the babies were wearing little shoes from their trip to the clinic, they were presh!
You could tell the babies were exhausted from their busy morning at the clinic. However, we pushed forward with therapy. We started off with the Beckman exercises, then some group “tummy time”, and ended with feeding. Choolwe waved this morning and rolled over a couple of times (making some progress!). At the end of the morning session we decided to lay down with the kids and have “chill time”. Catherine had Sid propped up on her legs with Bennett sleeping on her chest. I had Sid’s twin, Shelby, propped up on my legs with a bottle and “princess” Amanda on my chest/face/stomach/EVERYWHERE!
Amanda and Shelby
When we returned this afternoon we were flying solo because poor Caroline was not feeling so hot. We started at Haven 3 with the babies outside on the porch for therapy. Then we ended the day at Haven 1 where Tegan crawled-ish today! Technically, it was more of a swimming/crawling motion but it got her to her destination (the pacifier).
Meet Nathan, he is not apart of our feeding/swallowing therapy group but he sleeps in the same room where we usually have the session so we often put him on the floor with us. Well today he was being a SUPERSTAR. He ate a baby cookie/biscuit and rolled over and over and over… He is also a little talker; constantly babbling and smiling!
After we got all of the kiddos oral motor exercises in, we moved to the table for feeding time. I do believe this is Darcie’s favorite time of day…
Except when feeding time is over. She is not a happy camper.
When we were cleaning up the table after feeding therapy and getting the babies all situated for play time. I noticed Shawn crawling underneath the table at a fast pace then his little precious self was clinging to my legs. Catherine says I spoil him…I beg to differ!
Love my little boy
Tomorrow we are set to do individual therapy sessions where we will see one infant at a time for 30 minutes. We will do the same type of activities we do in group feeding/swallowing therapy except make it more individualized for the infant’s needs. I have been looking forward to tomorrow’s schedule all week :) it should be fun!
Monday, June 14, 2010
Theres room for everyone Nita! :) haha.
Trying to keep them all in one crib for language therapy! ...aka best idea! :) haha.
We only have 10 more days left on our trip and then we will be home on the 25th! Still cant believe it! Pray that our last week here at the Haven continues to be successful and that we have a safe trip to Livingstone!
Goodnight! - Lacey
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
This afternoon we stayed home. The first half of the afternoon we were able to rest and work on a few things. Then.... Caroline gave us an excellent little crash course in pediatric dysphagia! So now, we know everything there is to know about it... just kidding! But seriously, Caroline did an excellent job. Tonight we are going over to the Hamby house to watch the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. It's been a good day!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Under the shade of big tree we buried Kelly this afternoon. Many Tongan songs were sung, tears were shed and Kelly was laid to rest with a peaceful breeze blowing across the African bush. We all knew a day like this might come but never did we anticipate how hard it would be. Kelly rests with Jesus and plays at the Lord’s feet now. We thank him for the time we had to spend with her and how her sweet, calm spirit touched our lives in such a short time. I am certain that Kelly will not be forgotten anytime soon.
Today we took a half-day, Its nice when you make the therapy schedule! We did our morning at the Haven. Rach and I are with feeding this week and we have seen so many wonderful changes in the babies since week one. As a matter of fact, almost all our babies are now rolling and babbling. Sometimes it sounds like they are down right talking, in Tonga! Ha. There little personalities are really beginning to show too. Teagan is the happiest baby I have ever know, she never meets a stranger and she loves to be cuddled. Darcy is a Ham. She smiles and laughs and giggles, and she only has two teeth, Love her. Megan is kinda serious, she does not like carrots or chicken and veg with peaches. Hamilton is our Superman, he has gained weight and the “Aunties” even call him fat. Ha Ha. Lushomo is also so serious, he has a worried look in his eyes but it receeds when you make him laugh. Miller, oh MillerTime, he is so sweet. Loves Rach and gets kinda jealous when she’s lovin on someone else! Chowlee is super inquisitive and always likes to be the center of attention. Matty is a little bitty thing that really likes to be nuzzled up next to someone. Amanda is our resident princess, she cries when no one is paying attention to her or when we demand too much out of her. Bennett is a star, he has a sweet little smile and never complains that he itches, he has congenital syphilis, just always greet with a big smile and a coo. Dennis is Rachel’s man, he is tiny and cute and stiff as a board. He hates tummy time and is not afraid to tell us about it but oh his sweet little smile could melt butter!!
Tonight we are celebrating Ian Tullos’ 13th birthday with a trip to Jordan Rock and some hotdogs and guacamole and chips! Mrs. Hamby bought the most gigantic alvacados I have ever seen! We, being from the south, are more excited about the chips and guacamole then the party, Yay Ian, turn 13 again tomorrow!!!!!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
This week we have continued with the animal theme, but we are working on discriminating between animals and matching the animals at Haven 2. We have also incorporated a few other items (banana and apples) into our lessons. When working in the rooms at Havens 1 and 3 the activities vary because of the different ages. Typically, we will sing songs repeatedly (it's crucial!), introduce animals, and/or read books.
We still do a structured language class in Haven 2 (the toddlers) as well as with the older babies in Haven 1. To answer some of your questions, yes more patience is needed while doing the language classes because of the language barrier and the kids lack of familiarity with us. We are trying to get the aunties more involved so they can help us with the kids and this also allows us to teach/show the aunties how to continue with the language enriching activities when we have to leave the mission (sad day!).
This week we have already heard a couple of toddlers from Haven 2 increase their expressive and receptive language skills. We are hearing/seeing lots of imitations and babbling from Haven 1.
Peter (Haven 1) styling in his 80's wind-suit jacket
Typically, Catherine and I walk to the Haven every morning in order to wake ourselves up a little. Well, today we ALL got to enjoy a nice a little (25 minute) walk to the Haven because D.T. took the Khaki Jackie to pick up Mrs. Tullos from the airport.
Tomorrow is Ian’s 13th birthday. We are planning to go to Jordan’s Rock and have a mini cook-out with hot dogs and smores to celebrate. We are SUPER excited (maybe even more than mini D.T.)!!
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Today was the end of week 2 of therapy and the kids are doing great. Yesterday we had a scare from one of the little twins at Haven 3, Sidney. She had this horrible cough and wouldn’t stop and as I was doing her swallowing exercises I felt her lungs and they were full of liquid. Once Caroline felt, Dr. Weaver did too and she was taken to the clinic immediately. She is doing fine today, but they found out that she had pneumonia and was having an asthma attack at the same time. We are all glad that she is doing better. It's actually been a blessing to work with medically fragile babies, because in the States most of the children would be in the ICU or incubators and we probably wouldn't be handling them like we do here. It's amazing at how resilient babies really are. Today we were able to feed Choolwe rice cereal and he kept it all in, we are so proud of him. Bennett’s skin is looking better and all of the babies are starting to feed better. We also learned how to tie babies to us with a chitenge and we all agreed that we will not use car seats to carry our babies around when we have them, because they are too bulky and all you need is a piece of cloth to tie a baby to you! Don't worry we will teach everyone once we get back and before you know it we'll be having therapy with babies tied to us!! Caroline has done a great job of documenting the progression of each baby we are working with the Feeding and Swallowing group. Here are the results from the 2nd week...check out her blog for more details.
GROSS MOTOR SKILLS: Day 1/After week 1/End Week 2
Head steady at shoulder 69%/ 100%/ 100%
Sitting with support 54%/ 100%/ 100%
In prone, head up 31%/ 92%/ 92%*prone is on the belly, aka tummy time
In prone, head up to chest 31%/ 53%/ 61%
In prone, head up to forearms 31%/ 53%/ 69%
Rolling front to back 15%/ 23%/ 39%
Rolling back to front 15%/ 23% / 39%
Sitting independently 15%/ 23% / 53%
Creeping on tummy 0%/ 0% / 7%
Search Speakers face 92% / 100%/ 100%
Social Smile 92% /92% / 92% Tracks 77% / 92% / 92%
Turns to voice, noise 69% / 92% / 92%
Reaches for objects/bats 54% / 85% / 92%
Cooing 15% / 85% / 92%
Object to Mouth 31% / 61% / 77%
Laugh 0% / 46% / 77%
Oral motor play 0% / 31% / 46%
Babbling 0% / 15% / 39%
Cononcated Babble 0% / 7% / 15%
No Non Nutritive Suck 69% / 25% / 7%
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Today was a really great day! Yesterday, we found out that Sidney, a little twin in our feeding group who lives in the medically fragile dorm, has pneumonia and she had an asthma attack. It scared us all yesterday and she was immediately rushed down to the clinic. Today we found that she is doing much better but she just rested most of the day. We are so thankful that she's doing better, but she still needs your prayers! This morning in language class, we tried a few new strategies and they ended up working wonderfully! We set up the little chairs at the end of the porch so there was less distraction. Then we called them individually, "Weston, it's time to go to language class!" and when they heard their name, they were allowed to walk over and take their seat. They LOVED it! It made each one of them feel important. Jaime and I also found a new song to sing with our animals so that was good for the kids and all of us! Beauty and Cleatus, some of the aunties, also got involved and sang a few songs to help us out. That was great! That's what we want! We are hoping to get the aunties at each Haven to get involved with what we're doing so they can keep it up after we leave. So far, they are pretty hesitant, so any time they watch or help we are so pleased! Our language group at Haven 1 this morning went great, too! One set of twins, Bester and Elias, "talked" the entire time! Mostly just "da da da" over and over, but at one point Bester had perfect inflection to answer my question even though all she really said was "da da". We were so excited to see so much talking and gestures from the little ones. We have a few who are still feverish and cranky, but overall it was great. This afternoon we headed back to Haven 1 to do our individual language classes. I was in the girls room with Nita, Donna, Lisa, Teagan, and Kritz (who isn't a girl, but is in that room). Nita was such a little stinker! But she was doing a great deal of talking so it was hard to get too frustrated with her. At one point, they all sat quietly in a bed and I read "I Am Special" by Max Lucado to them. The entire book! That's saying a LOT! When we moved to Haven 3, the kids were a little more riled up but we got through our lesson with only a few behavioral problems. It's pretty difficult to get 15 toddlers to sit still and listen for an hour! Overall, I thought it was a pretty great day. And tomorrow is Friday. We aren't doing anything on Saturday and we are all so excited about having a day of rest. Hope everyone else is enjoying their summer! -Rachel
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Megan finally took to sucking on a pacifier, thanks to Catherine! Hamilton is improving every day and he is even fitting in his clothes now!
Apparently feeding/swallowing therapy is exhausting to some of the infants...
The language class has the other babies at the Haven improving as well. We are hearing a lot more imitations from the kids and are able to ellicit verbal responses from a few. It is only the beginning of week two at the Haven and we have already seen so much progress. I can NOT wait to see what happens over the next two weeks with the infants!
Monday, May 31, 2010
Me, Dennis, and Sidney. . . .2 members of our feeding group :)
After learning about each babies histories, Caroline also went over what a typical therapy session will include and how to perform each task. (The order of the tasks depends on the baby and his or her needs) but usually the first thing we do when we get into therapy is change them and get them clean and happy. (This is a big deal and can really play a big role in a baby's feeding) Next, we have "tummy time" where we are trying to get the babies to pull their heads up and get their muscles working and stronger.
Tummy time with Miller and Lushomo! They did an AWESOME job! So proud!
Sometimes tummy time is really difficult for these little guys! :( but we try to encourage them and not give in to their sad little cries as much as possible. We want them to get better!
We then perform Beckman exercises, which are oral motor exercises that are used to stimulate the baby's muscles used for feeding. This was really new to me. She instructed us on how to massage their upper and lower lips, outer cheeks, and inner cheeks in a soothing pattern to stimulate their muscles. We also use a “z vibe”, which uses vibrations to stimulate their muscles as well. For some babies, it relaxes their muscles causing them to gain more control of their tongue for feeding. Some of the babies absolutely LOVE this, and some think it is the devil. I had the pleasure of working with Teagan this morning and she has a love hate relationship with the z vibe. She is okay with holding it on her own and putting it in her mouth when SHE wants it there, but if I tried to put it anywhere near her she cried and threw a fit! Towards the end of the session she got more used to it though. YAY.
happy Teagan. haha :)
We also give the babies pacifiers to work on their non nutritive sucking. Non nutritive sucking is different in the fact that they are not actually feeding so this type of sucking is generally faster and has shorter pauses than normal nutritive sucking. Non nutritive sucking is really important because it can increase their oxygen levels in the blood, decrease heart rate, and increase weight gain. Which is a big deal! So we make sure to incorporate this into our sessions as well.
After all this is completed we sing to them, show encouragement, give them their bottles and document their progress and look for more things to work on…and if we notice any particular problems while feeding during the session. It is only day one of my week of feeding therapy and I can already see what a difference these exercises and the z vibe can make. Caroline said some SLPs don’t believe this type of therapy approach works, but I have seen it work already with the two babies I worked with today. After doing this on Sidney, (a child with TB and that is also HIV exposed) her tongue was way more relaxed and she was able to drink more controlled with less anterior liquid loss. I am so excited to be able to help these little guys!
The weather was still kind of blah today. It rained a good bit yesterday so everything was still a little wet and the sun didn’t show it’s face hardly, thus taking it longer for our laundry to dry! (still havent gotten that back...Ha) It was around 65 degrees with a breeze, but not chilly enough for a jacket. It is so crazy to see the natives around here. Since this is their “winter”, they think it is “SOOO COLD”. When we got to Haven 1 this morning we all laughed to see how some of the children were dressed. You would have thought it was below freezing outside in their “Eskimo gear”.
Tomorrow we will continue our feeding/swallowing sessions at Havens 1 and 3. Please continue to pray for all the babies!
P.S. Matt says "THUMBS UP FOR FEEDING/SWALLOWING THERAPY!!" haha :)
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
So today we started our morning off at the Haven again with more of the same. Feeding and Language groups. It is always a good feeling when you drive up and kids coming running out, arms open, smiling faces to you. Oh, it is amazing. You can tell the kiddos are warming up to us more and more everyday and we are falling into their routines. We know when to feed, change, sleep, and change again. I really think we are helping the Aunties here. They have seemed to enjoy our presence and are beginning to like us. Slowly but surely, we are winning them over with our southern charm.
After lunch we packed our overnight bags and loaded up in the “Khaki Jackie” and headed to Livingston. 10 girls and 2 boys do not pack light, so the 2 hour (very bumpy, with less than desirable roads) drives was a wee bit cramped. We arrived and checked into the hotel for the night.
Everyone decided it was time for dinner so the quest for food was on. Some ate pizza, others had hamburgers, all were delicious. After dinner, everyone headed back to the hotel for some rest before heading out to the falls.
Victoria Falls was indescribable. Millions of gallons of water rushing with enough force to knock over tree and spray mist hundreds of feet in the air, AMAZING. The best part was on this rare occasion, we were able to see the “moonbow”. This occurs only when there is a full moon and the skies are clear. The light from the full moon cast a rainbow over the falls. It was breath taking. After capturing pictures of the bow, the group trekked around the falls to several other locations where the mist sprayed us like rain. A few brave souls (Rachel, Ian, Meghann, Jaime, Marga, Caroline, and Catherine) followed our dear guide across the bridge and were SOAKED when we returned.
I recommend everyone hopping a plane and coming to see this for yourselves, you will NOT be sorry.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
P.S. we got showers today!! YAYYY! :)
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Memphis to Atlanta Delta 0668
Atlanta to Dulles Delta 1752
Dulles to Addis Ababa Ethiopian Airlines ET 0503
Addis Ababa to Lusaka Ethiopian Airlines ET 0873
Lusaka to Addis Ababa ET 0873
Addis Ababa to Dulles ET 0500
Dulles to Atlanta 1961
Atlanta to Memphis 1265
Monday, May 10, 2010
May 16 Depart from Searcy, Arrive in DC at 9:52 to collect luggage and go to hotel
May 17 Depart DC 9:30 am
May 18 Arrive Addis Ababa 8:30 am, Depart Addis Ababa 9:30 am, Arrive Lusaka 2:35 pm
May 19 Travel to Kolomo
May 26 Drive to Livingstone for full moon, spend night at Protea Hotel
May 27 Return to Namwianga by noon
June 19 Drive to Livingstone, High Tea at Royal Livingstone Hotel
June 20 Safari in Chobe National Park, Botswana. Evening worship at Protea Hotel
June 21 Victoria Fall and shopping, Sunset Cruise
June 23 Return to Namwianga
June 23 Drive to Lusaka, Check into Protea Hotel
June 24 Depart Lusaka 3:25 pm, Arrive Addia Ababa 8:25 pm
June 25 Arrive DC 7:35 am, Depart DC 2:30 pm, Arrive Atlanta 4:25 pm, Depart Atlanta 5:05
pm, Arrive Memphis 5:30 pm