Friday, June 18, 2010

GA Olympics

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.


  1. Yay for GA olympics...good stuff! I am so proud to call you my classmates. I know the work you have done there has helped so many. So happy the aunties are on board with these things as well. It will be interesting to see how well they carry over these techniques till next year. I can't imagine how hard it is for you guys leaving those little ones. It would break my heart. Sounds like all of you have a big week ahead! Sounds sooooo much fun! I'll be praying you guys have safe travels! Love ya'll!

  2. Oh those GA olympics sound like sooo much fun!!! It's hard to believe that your time there is almost up. I hope you ladies get to say all the goodbyes that you want. I'm sure saying goodbye will be hard but you all have done such a great job that I can see why everyone says the goodbye is bittersweet. Please be safe coming home. You all will be in my prayers! Love you guys! Can't wait to see you again and hear more stories because I'm sure there are A TON more to tell us!!!

  3. Glad the aunties are getting interactive and willing to help. The Olympics sounds like so much fun, maybe we can recreate it when yall get home. Have a safe and fun trip on all the adventures.

  4. haha I love it! I'm so proud that you girls brought the Olympics all the way to Africa! I know it's so hard to say goodbye to those sweet babies! I can't imagine getting attached to them and having to say goodbye = ( I So proud of you girls and excited to hear about all of the milestones! Have fun in Livingstone, and take lots of pictures!!

  5. I'm glad you saw a lot of milestones met with the babies. What a treat to be able to give therapy to baby of your choice! Nice job leaving tips for all the aunties during diaper time and such. Have fun on the rest of your trip!

  6. How fun!! I bet everyone enjoyed the GA Olympics. I am so proud of you girls and I know that it was hard to say goodbye to the children. Have fun the rest of the trip and take tons of pics.