Thursday, March 23, 2006

Running by the light of Venus:

Every morning at 5:20 am the generator at the clinic base in Kusuri starts up and I take the wake up call to go for a little jog. The crescent moon has been like a headlight until this week when it shifted to the new moon phase and every thing went black. Now jogs are accomplished with an LED pinch light and Venus which is nearly as bright.

The pinchlight shines on a five foot snake that has just encountered the tire of a motor cycle . It was still moving so I stretched it out on the side of the road with the thought that it might recover....somehow life in whatever form is sacred and should never pass by accident.

The same thought came regarding the five inch locust laying on the side of the road. It's brilliant green body and wings were in striking contrast to the blackeness of the morning.

At 6 am the sun rises abruptly and life revels in the cool of dawn. Voices call out 'selamat pagi', the neighborhood albino man gives a nod in the passing and the day begins.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The hygiene training and filter training is over! It has been a great success and now we have begun bringing the course into the villages.
The training was given in 5 days. Biosand filter training was taught in the morning and Hygiene in the afternoon for three hours. The combined Hygiene/filter training seems to have worked very well. 26 students completed the Hygiene, while 14 of them completed the filter construction training.
Some things that worked well...
1. The most rewarding and revealing part of this experience is has been to watch the teams of students go teach it. We have visited 6 different villages with a 3 hour presentation given by our students in a sort of practicum experience. That provides some excellent understanding to us as teachers of how the teaching has sunk in.
2. Divine good fortune provided us with the very best of health workers from the YBI Clinic base here in Tobelo. As it happened the clinic has been shut down due to lack of a Doctor overseer... so all the health workers were available to do the training. Usually they are very busy. We also had all the bore team go through the training.
3. Narratives and stories were a big hit. Clean Hands - Clean heart was used in exceptional ways...with great effect. The diarrhea doll was used often.
Some critical comments:
1. Going to the village and watching the results of training brought out the 'omissions' that we as teachers should work on. We will have debriefing sessions with them to add information and correct misunderstandings. Errors are telegraphed down the teaching line.
2. 5 half-days is not enough time to do proper hygiene training. We cut some of the material short.
3. None of our material was translated. Items that should be translated are 'clean hands-clean heart' and all the stories. Technical information must be translated because it gets very difficult to teach it without a reference book for students to refer back to.
4. The right jug for 'tippy-tap' hand washing project was hard to find in the village. An alternative should be invented.
5. The long term assessment and decision making were not addressed by the students in the practicum because there was not enough time. Community Mapping should be incorporated as a means to bring about planning and long term change in a village.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Sunday February 26, 2006
We have arrived in at the Clinic at Kusuri with a minor amount of confusion with tickets etc.( see comments on 1st entry) It was raining heavily in Kao so the airport was closed. We used the long route through Ternate to get to Kusuri.
So far we have had 2 sessions with 30 students and they appear to be absorbing the hygiene training. The students are a mix of Well drillers and Health workers. It is a great combination. The interactive teaching method is very fun and holds the attention even in the afternoon heat. Robin and Galen are great to work with and we have all kept busy with preparing our lessons.
We made a visit to Duma, the site of a massacre of about 200 people in the Jihad 5 years ago. One of the survivors told his story of defending the church and then escaping... a terrifying experience to be sure.
There is so much work to do here... and so much poverty. Keep praying for us.
Dan