Thursday, October 7, 2010
It is finished! (almost)
Monday was the last day of the Mother/Child class in Peredo. Pictured here are the mothers who were accepted into the class. And behind the person taking the picture are the mothers who came just to listen to the material (and for the free entertainment the American nurse provided).
I have to say I am kinda sad to see this 1st class go. From talking to the 17 yr old mother of a 4 month old the importance of abstinence from now on until marriage, to trying to convince the mother of 7 there are still things she can learn to better help her children. I really hope and pray they take the task of raising happy, healthy children seriously and understand how much God trusts them to do this. Not all of the women in the program attend church, but this offered a great opportunity to show them God's love for themselves and their entire families.
This week the topic was worms. Nice huh? I would guess nearly all the children in this village have intestinal worms. We talked about different kinds of worms and how they are transmitted. They even used some acting skills in class to show how worms can be transmitted. We treat so many kids in the clinic for worms but the problem is they go right back home-to their normal routine and get them again. I am hoping the education in this community breaks cycles like this. It is the mentality of the people here that if you can just take a pill to make you better, then just take the pill. But with education and understanding they can learn how to prevent sicknesses and how to prevent them from reoccurring.
I have learned a ton with this class too. This is the first time I have taught in another language. It took a lot of studying and practicing the classes before the actual class. Here I was nervous to stand in front of women -most of whom have never been to a day of school in their lives! But I wanted them to believe what I was telling them and I knew if I stood up there like a blubbering idiot, they wouldn't. I also wanted them to realize I really do care about them and spent time to prepare a class for them. But I am telling you this was no easy task for me. I prayed and prayed that I wouldn't say the wring thing or something offensive. I am thankful for the time I took last year to meet people in the community and learn some of the culture.
Most importantly I learned that the women in this community are hungry to learn. And they learn fast. I really was impressed. We didn't have a fancy powerpoint show or handouts (they can't even read) or even a chalkboard-and they picked up the material fast. I would quiz them the follwoing week on what we talked about the week before and they were so excited and talking so fast at time I had to tell them to slow down! They all showed up to every single class (after the 1st week!) on time except one mother. She missed a class and sent her 7 yr old son in her place to listen and then come home and tell her what we talked about. Now I am not for sure if she sent him to listen or to see if I was handing out anything to them that week, but, nevertheless I was impressed.
They brought oranges and bananas as a gift of appreciation for me. One of the women told me to make sure I ate them to get some Vitamin C so I would get a cold. SCORE! She listened! She remembered! She applied the material to real life! I literally almost cried at that comment. All my hard work-hopefully will pay off!
They told me they wanted to do something else for me but didn't have the money. I thanked them and then thought of a way they can help the mission and other women in Peredo. I asked them if they would be willing to come to the mobile clinic in Peredo the week a team from the States are coming. They are going to come and "teach" the classes to the women waiting in line to be seen at the clinic. People literally wait in line all day long to be seen. Some of them don't get seen as we run out of time.The women in the group paired off and each took a topic we discussed and they are getting together this week on their own time to practice. I am going back this coming Monday to meet with them and they are going to practice in front of each other. They are really excited about helping the other women in the community. Please pray this is successful and an encouragement to the women completing the class.
I had someone say to me that I needed to take more than 7 women into the class b/c this class could help more than 7 at once. But I really wanted to do this 1st class right and I am still learning myself. But I agreed that the class could have helped more. And hopefully it will...
Thanks for all the prayer warriors for this project-I know a lot of you were praying-keep praying! The women know the information-now time to see if the practice it. But as they say...you can lead a horse to water...