|Geraldine and Me at Namaste|
Alexandra, a physiotherapist has started working at Namaste. She comes in two days a week and works mainly with the younger children who have Cerebral Palsy. Katie and I sit in on the sessions. We’re learning some physiotherapy! We continue the exercises while Alexandra is elsewhere. I’m finding it really interesting. I’m learning a lot. The kids are bed ridden and they lie in the same position all day. Imagine doing this for your whole life. I’ve seen dislocations, malformations. Some of the girls even struggle just to open their curled fingers. It’s really upsetting to see, especially when you know it could all have been prevented - just by doing some simple exercises a couple of times a day! Many of the kids haven’t had any treatment before, so the damage has been done. The exercises are painful… to emphasis this, one of the boys, who NEVER speaks (sometimes he sings Séga) cried, “Ayyyyyye-aye-aye!” when Alexandra was straightening his legs. And Rocha cries her lungs out!
|The Girls' Home in Albion|
Katie and I have started working at the Boys’ Home in Roches Brunes! We go once a week. In the morning we watch and assist with physiotherapy, and in the afternoon we spend some time with the other boys. They’re a lively bunch! They certainly like their hugs and kisses, “bisous!”. However, as loving and affectionate as they can be, they’re certainly more challenging than the girls. A little violent sometimes… For example, Katie and I are now well aware of Jean Noel’s potentially dangerous temper tantrums. On one of our first visits he was having a bit of a hissy fit. Katie was defending all the breakable objects in the room while Jean Noel tried his best to evade her. When his original strategy of trying to push past her didn’t work he had to change tactics. So he bit her… and then he bit her again. I on the other hand, was sitting down with a small child on my lap only a few feet away. Jean Noel decided to divert his attention to the other volunteer… And I, very stupidly, completely unaware that he had just bitten Katie, decided to offer him a supportive hug. Jean Noel knew just how to deal with this. He then took a chunk out of my arm also! Luckily for me, my little prince charming (the little boy sitting on my lap) came to the rescue! Ha! He hopped off my lap, held my hand gently and guided me over to a member of staff. He then frantically pointed at my big bite mark, which was turning slightly purple, and finger pointed to Jean Noel – who then started to look a little innocent. Now, whenever we’re left alone with Jean Noel a staff member will not so subtly instruct him, “Don’t bite the volunteers!”. Katie and I had big bruises for a while after that – our battle scars!