We are now just about done with week 1 and it has been a great week. Thankfully we weren’t hit too hard by jet lag but were able to transition quickly and well.
Already we have run our first treatment sessions and have our ‘plans’ for the next couple of weeks. We will get to visit a number of sites to better understand what OT looks like here in Malawi and what the resources are like in the community for people with disabilities. I am amazed by how great of a site it is for fieldwork–I have gotten a mix of standard private practice, pull-outs in an international school, consulting and treating in a Malawian pre-school, and going to an outreach project in the community.
I am learning so much and am similarly enjoying life in Malawi…we have already done so much visiting Dedza pottery, getting involved in a church, work out classes, game nights, and hiking on the public holiday (we saw so many baboons!). I feel that we are learning the rhythms of life here and I am working on learning more Chichewa to better interact with the Malawians I interact with.
Undoubtably my favorite part thus far has been the Ndironde project. This project focuses on providing services to people affected by HIV/AIDS and Malaria and has recently been offering (via Sandi) therapy services one afternoon a week for children with disabilities. Currently they provide some physio and speech services, but with a new rehab tech starting next week, they are hoping to implement some OT. Coming up with what that will look like is our job! Unfortunately, due to the election next week, we will only get to go twice more.