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An fruitful day at the Rehabilitation Center for Little Children at St. Thomas Hospital

Message of the Day: The Arts Are For Everyone!

jasmine,  john and george

jasmine, john and george

February 20 dawned bright and relatively clear over the Global Volunteer Guest House. The early morning started out with a much needed hair washing in the bathroom bucket and then Karen and I commiserating over either the preferred morning tea or coffee. After my FAVORITE noodle breakfast we all packed up and off we went, Kathi and I to St. Thomas Hospital and Karen & Lynn to the Day Care.

Volunteering at this hospital has taught me more than I ever thought I wanted to know about healthcare in another country. I am so impressed with the Rehabilitation Center in general, and Sheila, the woman who was from the begining and runs the Center. The mothers who work with their children are AWESOME! I can’t say that enough. Everyday I’m more impressed with their dedication, patience, and willingness to share their time to help another mother. It’s so heartwarming and wonderful to see true, unadulterated friendships and love between women that probably didn’t know each other before being thrown into this situation because of the unfortunate circumstances of their children’s disabilities.

I’ve learned so much about OT from my fellow volunteer Kathi and she has been extremely helpful in explaining many of the things that go on in a Rehabilitation Center such as this. Today was no different and was probably my most interesting so far.

We sat in on a speech therapy session with a little boys first visit. Sr. Matilda was in charge of the session and it seemed, at least to my novice eyes and ears, that she was not going to be able to evaluate this boy at all, yet she did. Questioning her after the session, I understood exactly what she saw and heard to provide her with her evaluation. It was all very exciting and extremely interesting to me.

The last five minutes of the morning we were able to meet and ask questions of the Dr. that heads the Early Intervention Program. We also had a quick stop in PT.

bullock cart

bullock cart

Back at the guest house Stephen and Sheeba served us a traditional Indian meal on banana leaves. It was fabulously delicious! Lynn had requested a coffee shop for our social outing for today so Stephen’s brother Stephen took us to a department store that had a coffee shop on its top floor. Kathi and I had chilled coffees, yum, and Karen, Lynn, and Stephen had cappuccinos. All were declared delicious.

Tonight as Seam Children’s Home Kathi and I had our second straight night of painting in the library. In the 2 nights we had 17 boys with 1 repeat and 1 of the girls come up to try their hand at putting whatever came to mind on a 12″ x 18″ sheet of paper. They had a blast putting their imaginations in full color on these papers and we had an amazing time watching some of these budding artists come to life right before our eyes.

I was truly moved by what some of these children painted and the colors that they used, even mixing colors to make one
they didn’t have. When I found out later that they had never done anything like this before I was in awe of what some of them had accomplished.

It has never and will never cease to amaze me what a child can do when they are given love and something new to spark their imagination. The world really is their oyster to do whatever, wherever, with whatever they choose. It doesn’t matter where in the world that child is, be it the U.S., Africa, Thailand, China, or Chennai, India. The arts really ARE for everyone!

Nancy

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