The week has rushed past and Lesley and Simon are back from Chipata-they got a 5.0 am bus (7 hour journey) and actually managed to arrive by in time to join us at the Dutch Reform Church monthly Market yesterday and enjoy the array of wonderful things to buy. I have to say I have set myself a few packing issues for the return journey! They were even up for an evening at Modzi Arts listening to 70s Zambian music - some stamina.
The training has again been full of surprises and the trainees have used their wide experience to enrich the learning for us all. We have been using role play a bit more in some of the experiential art work and this has proved very fruitful for all.
As we are working with the ToT ( Training of Trainers) trainees we have had to apply more detailed attention to structuring the content of the training and this has proved to be a very valuable exercise but it has also been reassuring in that it seems as though it will be possible to produce a model that can be replicated without becoming too rigidly manualised.
We are getting to the stage in this trip when we have to start arranging all the meetings and feedback sessions to report to the Institutions and the Ministry so that planning for the next developments can start. The endings always seem to come in a rush.
Lesley has changed her return flight so she will be here to help with most of the evaluation and assessments. These again we have adapted in light of experience and in planning how it can be most effective in different settings.
We sadly say goodbye to Simon this week as he is off back to the Scottish winter. I am sure he will be posting about his impressions but another head and pair of hands has been a great asset.
So another week over. It goes so fast! We have had two weeks full training at both UTH and Chainama and continue to be completely absorbed by the directness of the responses to the training both from trainees and the patients who attend in Chainama. Simon as a newcomer has shown great resilience and taken over bits of training,spent a long time reconstituting the raw clay provided for us by one of the trainees and generally keeping Lesley and I focused.
The three people who have joined us in the Training of Trainers piloting have already contributed ideas and responses. This included a wonderful energiser exercise which had the whole UTH group and trainers moving round in a circle rhythmically chanting and having to incorporate spelling our name when picked on. There have been days when the rain has been heavy and prolonged in a way completely different from at home, Simon - who despite advice - did not bring an umbrella very nearly didn't get any breakfast as it was too heavy to get from his room to our house! One training group at Chainama managed to get to the OT building but it would have been impossible to get patients across so the morning was spent very productively in art exercises, reflection and case sharing. Lesley has been gallantly working on the revisions required by the Ethics body and got them submitted - hopefully we will hear on Monday - this for using the feedback data from trainees for analysis and publication. Apart from work we have had an evening in a bar listening to music from a friend's band - great sounds! - a meal with another friend at the wonderful Lebanese restaurant nearby and last Sunday we went out of town a way and saw the orphaned baby elephants at the David Shepherd rescue park. They are entrancing and the long process of re-wilding them once they are fit is impressive. so we are managing our work life balance. Next week Lesley has some work in Chipata and it seemed a good opportunity for Simon to see something of the country - so they are off on the bus on tuesday and Simon is going to spend a night at South Luanga Park. Meanwhile I am left running the training! with the help of the 3 ToT trainees, actually midway through as we are the routine and course content is quite well established. But time will tell. A postscript - I started posting this blog on Friday, only now has the internet connection allowed it!
And quite a week! It has been really good meeting again so many people, friends from before and new people interested in what we are doing and wanting to join in. Meeting the new trainees both at UTH and at Chainama Hospital is always fascinating. They are so prepared to share their responses and experience and we learn so much from them.
We are working with three great ex trainees who are shadowing us this year to help us look at how the first stage of Training of Trainers can be shaped and already in the first week they have contributed new ideas.
The OT department at Chainama is familiar territory now and we were made welcome and furniture and the technology was all provided. It was great during our first practical session with patients to see 19 people all working completely silently absorbed in their art making.
Today we have met again with MHUNZA and ZAFOD, two key psycho-social, intellectual and physical disabilities rights organisations to learn more about their current work and update them on our plans.
Life at Gossner continues to be peaceful and refreshing. I have not been here before when everything has been so green and lush - it is all very different from the baking heat of my last visit. I am writing this listening to the steady fall of rain on the veranda and dripping off the leaves.
We have managed to feed and entertain ourselves after work but I think I speak for all of us when I say this first week though productive and encouraging has left us pretty tired every evening.
After a fraught series of flights and lost luggage, we three ZTA trainers (Lesley Hill, Joanna Pearce and Simon Willoughby-Booth) have arrived in Zambia to run two training courses at University Teaching Hospital Department of Psychiatry (UTH) and at Chainama Psychiatric Hospital between 10th January and 21st February 2017. We spent the first 4 days going over the teaching materials and course documents to refine and update the course content. We have had meetings with key staff at UTH, Chainama and the Chainama College of Health Sciences. There will be 20 trainees at UTH, a mix of neuropsychology and mental health nursing students and we have 3 potential people starting the next stage of the course to become trainers themselves. At Chainama the course will also have 20 trainees drawn from nursing, medical, clinical officers, psychologists and ward assistants. At Chainama we hope that we will have potential trainers able to start second stage training later in the year. Our aim is that we will be able, over time, to train sufficient local trainers in Zambia for the Therapeutic Art training to become self-sufficient and no longer dependent on outside trainers. We are staying at Gossner Mission in Lusaka again and it is an ideal base for both planning and relaxing during the training. Lesley and Joanna are experienced Zambian hands but this is Simon’s first time here (so they are having to hold his hand a lot of the time). For a first time visitor, Zambia is confusing, noisy and pretty hard to understand, superficially very like many parts of the European experience but at the same time, so totally different. Having said that, our contacts in health services here have been preparing for the work to begin and are really enthusiastic about its impact it has already had for staff and patients. Our first training session starts tomorrow.......