Well, already we are over half way through the training and it it so good to see how the trainees are really grasping how useful art is for helping communication and understanding. Hospitalized patients frequently express their appreciation in having the opportunity to join in the art group --- away from the ward for an hour or so, and with some 1.1 time with a staff member. I particularly feel for the younger ones who may come -- teenagers who are missing home and school. At least in the group they have the chance to do something familiar - drawing and writing.
Groupwork has been part of some of the trainees experience - they were amazed they could create a whole town plan in 20 mins -- and recognised how ideas can be generated better in a group and that different individual priorities could be a focus for reflection.
We are now turning our focus to the end of the training - which will be on us before we know it! -- so have been fine tuning the evaluation process and the assessments . Gathering data for the research arm of this work is also to the fore. We want to measure the efficacy of this training so that it can be put to best use, here in Zambia. Many health and development programmes fail simply because they do not listen enough to what is needed and adapt their inputs accordingly. Our approach is to continually reflect on our work and adapt the training accordingly. While their are obviously some cultural and language difficulties in communication, we do our best to minimise these effects.
Home life is therefore a tapestry of discussions and writing, as well as eating and sleeping -- with an occasional walk round the garden once the temperatures drop a bit later in the day. Our office space is the dining table ---, but we do long for a printer.. as getting any printing done is dependent on their being power on at the local post.net at Kabalonga or hospital resources - which often have shortages of ink.
Yesterday we had a morning out - at the Dutch Reformed Church monthly market. Due to our lack of exercise through the week we started early and walked the 20 mins to the nearest minibus pickup. Thankfully our journey - squeezed in with everyone else in increasing temperatures was short. The market is a rich array of crafts, furniture, beautiful bedding and clothing made from bright chitenge material, vegetables and fruits and a wide range of food and drink --- and a shady place to sit under the trees. Christmas presents were on our minds, and with a fair bit of bartering -- we managed to pick up some nice things.
Overall a good week of training - with some useful leads as to how we may be able to make this training even more widely available.....