Tuesday, 31 May 2016
Almost time to say Adeus
COUNTRY: Timor Leste
PROGRAM: Faculty Placement
PROJECT: Health Science
WRITTEN BY: Nicola Brickness, Maathangi Karunaharan & Maddie Pan
So here we are at the end of our third week living in Dili, and we can’t believe how fast our time has gone! The CNR staff greet us everyday like old friends, and our relationships with our clients are growing. It’s sad knowing that we are going into our last week and will have to say goodbye soon.
Its been a busy week as each inter-professional team has been working hard on projects ranging from modified utensils to wheelchair arm supports. Additionally, we are each presenting educational workshops on our last day at CNR to handover valuable experience and information to all staff. A lot of preparation has been going into developing these workshops and creating resources that can be used by all departments within the centre. This also includes designing culturally appropriate handouts and posters that can be distributed to the rural communities and centres that the Community Based Rehabilitation team visits weekly. These resources can be used well into the future, even after our time here has finished!
It’s been an eye-opening experience getting the opportunity to work with an array of clients who present with such varying conditions. Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder and post-stroke patients are just a few of the common presentations we have been seeing. Having exposure to such a wide range of clinical and cultural experiences has definitely seen us develop both professionally and personally. We know we still have so much to learn as we come into our final week at CNR.
To finish the week, we visited a community medical clinic in Hera. It was here that we met the practicing doctor and traditional midwife who work to provide health promotion and community livelihood projects to the local people. We were so fortunate to have a tour of the centre and have our many questions answered. We learnt so much about how health care is provided and the cultural values that underpin these services.
As it was our final weekend in Timor-Leste, we made our way over to Atauro Island! We had a relaxing weekend of snorkeling on the coral reef, sleeping under the stars and swimming at sunrise. To top it off, the food was amazing! At 5:30pm, 3 giant Trevally’s were caught and by 7pm, were on our dinner plates, YUM! The group also travelled on tuk tuk’s to Hospideria Faca where we got to see the most amazing handiwork in the process of being sewn, stitched and woven by the local women’s cooperative. It’s safe to say that many bags and trinkets were purchased! While we fit a lot into our short time on Atauro Island, we left feeling refreshed and ready to head into our final week in Timor-Leste.