We came to Malawi knowing we would be teaching 60 community health workers, but what we were not prepared for were all the other spontaneous teaching moments we would have. As we were gathering equipment for our community health worker training, we were informed of two patients that came to the hospital specifically looking for us. Even though we were not expecting to treat patients for another week, we took Dr. Nesbit’s lead and jumped on the opportunity to treat these patients. Both patients were children with very complicated cases. This challenged us to think outside of the box to find the one thing that we could do to help them the most. Dr. Nesbit asked us to come up with home exercises that best fit the patients’ needs. This was our first experience teaching someone who spoke a different language. It was quite a task and it must have been very entertaining to watch from the outside!
Today we got our first taste of what it was like to teach our first full size class. We had a variety of personalities ranging from the student who always jumped up to raise his hand while the student next to him observed quietly. Overall it was satisfying to see them learn new skills and desire to take their learning to the next level. They were always thinking of ways to help their patients.
Just when we thought we were done for the day, we were asked to visit a neighbor down the street with complaints of shoulder pain. Upon evaluation of the adorable 84-year-old amayi (grandmother), we confirmed a clear diagnosis of shoulder impingement syndrome (Thanks Dr. Phelan!). Once again, we put on our teaching hats and taught her ways to sleep more comfortably and alleviate here pain.
When we finally came home, we were able to relax and watch the sunset with our new friend Bobby!
With Warm Hearts!
Samantha, Alycia, and Melody (S.A.M.)