Well, we just completed our last day of therapy at the Haven. There were bittersweet emotions flowing through our group today. We started off with finishing our Capstones (project in order to graduate) and therapy with babies of our choice. We then took a break for lunch and returned to the Haven to give each one a cake and say goodbye to our new friends, the Aunties, and the little munchkins. I felt at peace while I was with them. I went to Bennett, Nathan, Miller and Memory (she just got back from a heart surgery in South Africa) as my babies to hold. The were so content and I couldn't help but feel good about the work we had done. They have all come such a long ways with their language and feeding. Most of the babies are achieving the milestones appropriate for their age or coming closer everyday to being on track. They have all worked so hard but our time here would not be worth anything if we did not educate and get the Aunties involved in what we were trying to do.
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.
Things I learned in Africa....
6 years ago