| September 13, 2017 |
– From August 16, 2017 in Tanzania, Africa –
Morning breakfast continues to fuel my body, but every day I’ve been counting on chai time at Step-by-Step Learning Centre for re-fuel. During the morning sessions with Step-by-Step students, our group takes a break for about 30 minutes to enjoy tea (chai), coffee, bananas, and bread & butter. The expected 4 slices of bread with butter and 2 bananas is even, at times, too much to handle. But, it’s “quality over quantity” for the food, as teacher Francis says. The students at SSLC embrace this time, free from judgment. Some of them have challenges at meal times, with immature chewing/swallowing patterns, drooling, and difficulty using utensils. At home, they’re sometimes reprimanded for not eating correctly, and therefore don’t eat as much due to embarrassment. At SSLC, they’re given assistance, but no judgment!
Today was filled with local grub, scrubs, and a stunning reveal of Mt. Meru! Read on for more…
What We Taught
Today, we discussed spasticity at length to coincide with the diagnosis of “cerebral palsy” many of the students have. Our basic clinical application was as follows:
Spasticity = Speed Dependent = Go Slowly when Stretching!
We further dissected the diagnosis of cerebral palsy and various presentations, and gave books to the SSLC staff, such as Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Parent’s Guide, in order to expand learning opportunities and self-study. We also finished our discussion on SOAP notes and the various sections. The teachers are all excited to start keeping more records of the students’ progress so we can continue building their programs over time.
Here’s Rogathe and Bibiana–two of the teachers at SSLC who showed up to class today wearing scrubs we donated in April 2016! We’re so proud of how far they have come in their knowledge.
What We Learned
Resourcefulness is KEY in Tanzania (and, really, SHOULD be in the world). Nothing gets put to waste here, and our banana peels are no exception! The bananas from chai time are fed to the goats at Step-by-Step. Even cardboard from our lunch boxes gets recycled into bricks for fire burning.
Photo of the Day
Today, we had UGALI for dinner, which is a local dish you’ll find throughout Tanzania comprised of a cornmeal-based stiff polenta, complemented by some kind of meat/vegetable mix. This was my SECOND time having ugali on this trip, so I taught everyone how to eat it! Scoop the potato-y ugali with your fingers, roll it into a ball, press your thumb into it for an ugali pocket… then use the pocket to grab some meat! Voila! Our ugali was joined by an amazing beef stew, and I don’t think anyone complained about their dinner choice tonight. (Below is a picture from the first time I had ugali, which was at the Edutours office).
Also… Mt. Meru made QUITE the appearance over the city today, and I can’t help but make this Photo of the Day number TWO.
Swahili Lesson of the Day
Tuonane kesho – see you tomorrow! Or, just simply “kesho” with a wave!
Laugh of the Day
After our “work day,” we went to the Maasai market, which is an experience in itself. (More to be said on that later.) As we meandered through the various hallways filled with local artisans and their products, we were hassled for “rafiki” prices (which were, undoubtedly, “mzungu” prices). We bargained, shopped, and dealt with tons of hassling. During Lo’s shopping adventures, she was questioned by a local on how much it would cost to get to Hawaii, how long they should stay, and what lodges/locations they should visit. Travel Agent Lo was a little lost for words… since she had no basis to give this information… and it came out of NOWHERE! Hah!
To read more about Step-by-Step Learning Centre, the staff, and students (and/or to donate to their unique, passionate vision), please visit their website here: www.sslc-tz.com
With love and gratitude, Kristen “KConn”