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Today didn't quite go to plan but was still a good day! Armed with my guide and phrase book I ventured out on my own!
After breakfast I went to the office to complete a feedback questionaire and to back up my photos. Then I went to the Russian market to finish my souvenir shopping. I think I have gifts for everyone now! The Russian market is very busy and there are lots of stalls squashed into a small place. As soon as you look at a stall the shop keeper is trying to sell you something! My bartering skills have improved but still aren't great! I know its their way of life but I feel a bit mean!
Once my shopping was done, I went to riverside for lunch. I had a really nice cheese & ham toasted sandwich! Then I went off in search of the museum. As I walked I was constantly asked if I wanted a tuk tuk and told it was too hot to be walking - they were right but I knew the museum wasn't far and I've nearly spent all of my money! I completly missed the street for the museum (there are no road signs here) and ended up walking much futher than I should but eventually found the museum with a bit of help from a hotel guard! My guide book said the museum was open all day but it had closed for lunch until 2pm! I was hot & tired so decided to go back to the apartment with the intention of going back at 2pm. Back at the apartment I made the mistake of lying on my bed and when I woke up it was 4pm - the museum closes at 5pm so I had a chilled out afternoon instead! Unfortunately when I lay on my bed I didn't go under my mosquito net & now have several bites!
As there are only a few volunteers here now, we ate in a different apartment. As we ate tea a mouse ran through the kitchen causing a lot of screaming!
Tonight has been a lazy ...
(the NTV shoot... obvious caption is obvious)
(volunteers at the care out reach: from left, Hiroko from Japan, Fred from Italy, and Xanthie from England)
Here is the final chapter of my tales from Mongolia. This last week showed some very feeble signs of improvement, but unfortunately, it came too late to brighten up the rest of the trip.
Tuesday was actually a delightful day. I participated in the care outreach that Projects Abroad was hosting. We took some kids with serious developmental disabilities, who were abandoned as babies, to a small playground on the outskirts of UB. I wheeled a young man, suffering from cerebral palsy, up and down a little bridge. He loved it. The other volunteers showed their amazing love and compassion to the kids, who are neglected by their society, and sadly to say, even the nurses at the clinic (the treatment they receive, just left to writhe on the floor, it makes you cringe...). As Fred, an Italian guy working on a business project said, "This was the first day of my trip that I felt like a volunteer." I had to agree with him: it was definitely more fulfilling than wasting time at NTV. But, I am certainly glad I did not do that project–it seemed very stressful and exhausting. It takes a special kind of person to take that as a placement, and they receive my undying respect.
On Thursday, NTV actually had me on a shoot. Well, "having me on a shoot," really meant that I just stood there, taking still photos of the recording, but nonetheless, it was something. We went to the construction site of the new UB airport. It is out in the middle of nowhere. I mean, seriously, it took nearly 45 minutes to arrive from the studio, which isn't even in the city center. But it was nice seeing the open Mongolian countryside once again, ...
For the third straight year, students from Manchester Jamaica communities were given scholarships, bursaries and school supplies courtesy of the Operation Knapsack Education Fund. The initiative was started in 2013 with the aim of identifying students in the parish of Manchester, who are in need of support towards their education. The third Award Ceremony was held on August 20, 2015 under the theme “Encouraging Hard Work…Rewarding Excellence” at the Projects Abroad Jamaica office. This time around five students received assistance; three students walked away with scholarships valued at $67,500.00 JMD while two received bursary each valued $7500.00 JMD. The students are chosen based on their financial need and outstanding academic performance throughout the last two school years and at the GSAT level.
The event provided the perfect opportunity to honour the students who have worked long and hard throughout the years, especially those who sat their GSAT in 2015. Both the students and their parents were beaming with pride and not long after they were introduced, did the rest of the attendees felt similar pride. Alesha Campbell, Alexandrea Forbes and Areeanna Tomlin all from Villa Road Primary School received scholarships while Akeliah Broen, also from Villa Road Primary and Cean Green from May Day High received bursaries.
The ceremony was chaired by Programme & Logistics Coordinator Diandra Longmore. The attendees were welcomed by Programme Officer for the Care programme Carolyn Brown and given an overview of the Projects Abroad Jamaican organization as well as the Operation Knapsack project. After the official introductions and outlines were done it was time for the specially invited guests to bring their greetings. Ms. Karlene ...
Now I will explain more about the other project I have been volunteering at. I am currently in Atlanta Airport with a long layover until my connecting flight back home, and this is the first time I’ve had to properly catch up on this.
The Association is for children and young adults with Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive, muscle wasting disease caused by a lack of the protein dystrophin. It means that there are problems walking and doing everyday activities, and also eventually respiratory and heart problems. Without intervention, a person would not be expected to live beyond their early 20s. Thankfully these days there is a lot more intervention in terms of physiotherapy, in order to maintain some function and strength both in lower and upper limbs, and prevent muscle contractures here as much as possible, and also to maintain the muscles that work the lungs.
In the project I have been helping out with the physiotherapy sessions, using pulmonary and physical therapy to maintain as much function as possible. Stretching and mobilising the joints and spine are really important because in time, muscle contractures develop, especially in the lower legs causing eversion of the feet, and scoliosis in the spine. I also helped with the respiratory therapy sessions, which helps maintain lung volume and prevents infections from occurring. Some of those who came were in their early teens, they were pretty lively, careering about in their wheelchairs and enjoying noisy banter during the group therapy sessions. Others were older and in the more advanced stages of the disease, so needed a lot more help to do everything. Family were often an active part of the therapy sessions, as it is important to educate them on how best to practise the exercises regularly at home. Some of ...