It’s been almost a week and I haven’t seen any of my cohabitant lizard friends! But where are they? Truth be told, while they are harmless – actually probably helpful because I think they eat mosquitos – they creep me out. I haven’t missed them, but I wonder why they are gone and to where? Or are they gone? Are they under the bed? Behind the bureau? Behind the toilet? Under the sofa? In the curtains? Probably yes but it’s better if I don’t dwell on it. The thought makes me shiver, but what am I to do? Call an exterminator? Now there’s a job market.
The responses from my last posting about doing without water or electricity indicated electricity would be easier to do without although most said they don’t want to give up either!
I had a great time with the first year students teaching them anatomical terminology for movement analysis. Now they will be a leg up when we combine them with the second year students in April to learn kinesiology. I also had an opportunity to interact with the second year students when they met to share with each other and the faculty about their first experiences in the clinic. After only 8 days they had developed an appreciation for physiotherapy, empathy for their patients, and self-confidence in their roles as clinicians. One comment really struck me: a student sharing disappointment in the inequity of resources for physio students versus medical students referred to himself and his classmates as “guinea pigs” for being the first class to go through the physio program. We are so fortunate in the US, because we have 1 PT for every 1,400 people. Here they have 1 PT for every 450,000 people. I have so much admiration for these students and faculty. They aren’t guinea pigs, they are leaders. They are pioneers. There will be growing pains, but Malawi needs them. They are the future health care providers who will improve people’s function following injury or disease and who will prevent injury in the first place; and, they are the future educators for generations of physios to come. Before I knew it I had said all of that, albeit having to pause to prevent me from getting choked up. A couple of the faculty told me afterwards that they hadn’t really thought about it, but yes, they are part of something monumental for the country. I just wish I could have said it without my emotions being so obvious.
Some of the students have since indicated they would like to share their perspectives in a history. Now why didn’t I think of that? We are beginning to chronicle the process for publication – as a “lessons learned from the field,” but of course: the students’ perspectives are an integral part of the story!
Even though I’m not teaching as much as I’d like, we are making progress on the curriculum and I had the opportunity as an outsider to shed light on the impact the program will have. Kind of makes the little frustrations like power outages and lizards seem inconsequential – for my colleagues and me.
So where’d they go? Well, as I opened the kitchen window this morning en route to turning on the kettle for coffee I was greeted by a little lizard – seemingly flying through the air toward me. I think he was as startled as I was – but I doubt he was as creeped out – unless he noticed my bed head.