Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Perseverance vs. Defeat...Joy vs. Sadness...

A great second day! Everyone seems more comfortable with being here, especially today as several of us went in different directions throughout the day. Breakfast was as good as it has been everyday, the homemade bread is spoiling us! The presentations for staff started with Calming Traumatized Patients, and then moved into Creative Arts Therapies. For the second presentation, we worked in time to have them actually participate in some of the therapeutic activities, and they really got into it. They collaged mandalas, planted rye grass, painted to music, and read “The Kissing Hand.” The rest of the presentations were Family-Centered Care (a TOTALLY new concept for them!), and Sibling Issues. We decided to do something different during the last 45 minutes, and had everyone come in for a Q & A session, to provide more specific information on the field of Child Life.

There seems to be a belief that these are very important concepts, and something they would love to have, but don’t see how it would ever be possible with their limited resources. The Palliative Care program seems to be in a much more reasonable position to actually move forward with the inception of a Child Life program, so there is hope!

Kat spent her morning teaching the social work students, where she finally feels like she made a breakthrough in regards to their “getting it”. She showed a video of a child life specialist working with a patient, and there was a new sense of understanding and excitement about the information she was providing.

While the presenters were busy during the morning, several of the group walked down the road to visit a couple of stores, and take in some of the local culture, including illegal taxi cab drivers on the side of the road!

Jan made a presentation at the elementary school for the teachers who are interested in helping start a school program for chronically ill children who are not able to attend a regular school program.

This afternoon we split into three groups and went with the Palliative Care staff on some of their home visits. These visits finally gave us some insight into the work of these staff, as well as the lives of the children and families they provide services to. The stories from each group would be better shared by each of them, so hopefully they’ll get a chance to do that over the next day or two. The children were all very different and we left amazed at their perseverance, hope, joy and love! What a treasured experience!

Before dinner, we watched an A & E Biography show on the dictator, Nicolai Ceachousku. WOW! Had forgotten a lot of that Romanian history, and hearing how his regime is still impacting life here was very powerful. To know that it has been only 20 years since he was deposed, and how many things are still not changing, really shows how much work needs to be done for Romania to catch up with much of the western world. Tomorrow we look forward to getting to visit the hospital in the afternoon. We are going to get a tour by the hospital’s director, and are excited about finally getting to learn about it.

And, then there was fry bread, really GOOD fry bread, with dinner, so the day ended on a high note!
We will post pictures that we are able to later today (Wednesday) of some of our home visits. :)

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