The fun continued on our second day in Francistown as Matilda took us to Tantebane Game Ranch! While driving up the lane we even saw Ververt Monkeys and Water Bucks! This nature preserve has a club house to eat at, cabins and chalets for camping, and even a golf course! As we walked around the lake Maltilda, and her partner and son, were pointing out and naming some of the many different birds around including the Pied King Fisher, the African Fish Eagle, and the Blacksmith Plovers! Lunch was served under the veranda overlooking the water. After lunch, the highlight of the game drive was getting to see zebra! Their stripes really do work as great camouflage, try and pic them out of the pictures! Upon returning to the club house, we enjoyed some drinks as we watched the sunset over the lake!
To begin our journey in Francistown, physiotherapists from settings all throughout the city came to listen to inservices. Stephanie, Kerry and TJ began with an overview of Evidence Based Practice and how the critically read articles to decide whether or not to implement changes in current practice. Then Jenni, Lauren, Brenna and Angela presented on Neurological Complications of HIV/AIDS, as well as tied in the first presentation by reading an article relating to the topic as a group an going through the process discussed earlier. The morning concluded with JH giving Matilda a gift of thanks for all of her work helping to set up the week! After discussing the plans for the week, Matilda took us on a tour of the new clinic that is under construction. Her and her physiotherapy company have a bright future ahead! She then hosted the group at her home for a Braai, or a cookout! Here we got to try some new things like wild boar and chakalaka! Check out the Facebook, Twitter and instagram for pictures from the new clinic site and the braai!
The final day at Mariri clinic was performing inservices for the staff members since the children began their holiday. The topics included Basics of First Aid presented by Thea and Jenni, Communication Matrix presented by Molly and Michelle, Ergonomics presented by Kerry and Brenna and Parental Information presented by Stephanie and Molly. The staff members were very receptive, asked many questions, and demonstrated many techniques! After another lovely lunch, the staff members and the OU delegation exchanged gifts of thanks and hugs of goodbye and well wishes!
We then traveled to Francistown, Botswana! Here we were greeted by Matilda, a graduate of the Ohio University Physical Therapy Program! She has arranged many opportunities for us during the remainder of our stay in Botswana!
Our first two days at Mariri clinic were filled with smiling children! The staff at the clinic welcomed us with open arms. We began in the classrooms, observing and helping with lessons like coloring, counting, reading, and exercising. JW and the SLP students were able to assist Mariri with her speech therapy sessions throughout the days. While the JH and the PT students encouraged some functional playing with some children with motor delay. Our gracious hostess also provided us with a wonderful array for both tea time and lunch each day!
Tuesday we spent the day at Princess Marina Hospital, the government run, public hospital in Gaborone. We were told that for about 5 Pula any citizen of Botswana can be seen here. We split up between departments for the day and the PT students and faculty spent the day with the physios and the SLP students and faculty spent the day with Audiologists since the 2 SLPs were on leave. The department of 7 physios are in charge of both the outpatient and the acute care patients at the 600 bed hospital! We divided again to be able to see what it’s like in both settings here, as natural CIs they allowed us to help see patients in order to learn hands-on. A few consistencies throughout the experience that we noticed are that even though the wards are crowded and there are limited resources in both the wards and the clinic, the physios are very resourceful, using what they have to the highest potential and seeing about 20 patients per day (even though there are no set productivity standards, they just see as many as they can!)! A picture is worth 1,000 words, and I’m sad to say we were unable to take any photos other than a group photo with the physios, but this was surely an eye-opening experience that we will all remember for the rest of our lives!
Monday we went to the Botswana Central Resource Center. This is where all of the assessments are performed for the entire country in the public sector. There are a few rooms for families to stay in when they are there if they had to travel a long ways. They also provide food at tea time and lunch! On staff there are educational psychologists, speech language pathologists, and occupational therapists, as well as assessors for vision impairments and the Braille translation location for the entire country. The people in this area download scans of textbooks, translate them to Braille, print and edit all the books one at a time! After our tour at CRC we went to Botswanacraft Marketplace for lunch in the garden and to purchase some handmade goods as souvenirs!
A trip to Africa is not complete without a safari, so we spent the morning of this Sunday free day at Mokolodi Nature Preserve! As we were standing in the parking lot a canvas covered truck pulls up, each of the five bench seats has a three rung ladder to climb in order to pull yourself in. This was our ride through the bumpy trails of the preserve, we had to be careful to hold on to cameras and the seats tight when the terrain got rough! The first animals to cross our path was a group of giraffes, did you know they get darker as they age! We also caught glimpses of a hyena, warthogs, an ostrich, several types of impala, and some hippos (however they were so far in the distance that they looked like boulders, so that doesn’t really count)! Our tour also included a champagne brunch, college students love when food is included! It was located within the preserve in a thatched roof hut with an open view of nature in front of us! Check out some photos on Instagram (OhioUinBOTSWANA)!! We toasted to the journey so far and all that we have left to experience together!