Friday, February 16, 2018 – “Day 4” by Susan Czyzo

Over the hump of the apparently critical third day of jet lag, and with the help of a later start, the rehab team welcomed day four and its beautiful blue skies. We wished two of our group members luck as they set off to make the journey to a community hospital a few hours away to deliver a presentation, while the remainder of the group set off for Ndanai. Although it had been pleasantly warm thus far on our trip, it was pretty clear by 10 am that this was going to be our hottest day yet.

Once at Ndanai Small House, the team started where they left off the prior day. Our main goal for the morning was to write out exercise sheets for the children we had assessed on day 3. These were then taped to the wall of the rehabilitation room as a reference for the physiotherapy aide. Meanwhile, a couple sets of extra hands helped patch up the treatment beds and a few sets of crutches, crossing a few more things off the “mend” list.

The afternoon started on a colourful note with a walk through the local market. Each town in this region has a day during the week designated as “market” day and today was Ndanai’s turn. We had driven through countless roadside markets to this point but this was our first up close experience. The colours, sounds, smells and sights did not disappoint. Mangoes were top of the list for our group after our taste test at lunch. Following some lighthearted haggling, we also managed to pick up a pair of shoes and clothes for a student at the school.

While we braved the heat of day at the market, two of our team members, physiotherapists Karen and Karen, put on a presentation to a local rehabilitation and medical group at a community hospital. Thanks to the organizational skills of Karen Leung, Karen Dobbin spent a couple hours introducing the group of 20 professionals and students to lymphedema as it related to cancer care. All reports suggested a very successful and enjoyable outing (though it could have been a tad cooler!) with the group showing interest in further training. Our highlight of the day comes from the presenter herself, Karen D: seeing the value of showing the practical side of lymphedema with 2 patients acting as case studies – it brought the presentation to life and made it applicable to the audience.

Stay tuned for weekend highlights!