NOVEMBER 20, 2013

Third days of patients, we’re getting better!

First day: last patient left at 8 p.m.,  second day at 9 p.m., and today the last patient left at 7:30!!!  Yeah!!!!  We are finally getting better.  But, no, that’s not the end of the day!  The three of us, Cindy, Rildo and myself sat down,  opened up a box of Garoto chocolate, and started the last session of the night; we discussed each patient seen, the outcome, and the follow-up plan.   Rildo,who is the student finishing his course work and will start working as the permanent audiologist in the clinic, was being a great help these last three days.  He took patient’s history, helped them with paperwork, since most of the patients we attended to have a maximum of elementary school education; he was also eager to learn.  I fell that I need to give him the most instructions and guidance I could in these few days to help him get started on the right track when he becomes solo in the clinic.  It is limited the number of patients I can see in my time here, but he will be here to help them for the long term.  That’s what I really liked about the sustainability of this program!  Well, our “debriefing” ended after 10:30 every night.

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There is a set schedule with suggestions for each day prepared by the clinic coordinator, Vanessa, sent to us before the trip, but unfortunately we totally missed the evening events so far:  3 out of 3, 100% (that looks like an excellent score)!!! The breakfasts and lunches were prepared by the Clinic’s Luh, who is a wonderful cook, preparing a table full of local delicacies.  There is one hour set aside for lunch, so all staff members could sit down and enjoy lunch together, but due to the heavy schedule since we were here all lunches were delayed and today I insisted that they eat without me. I explained that back home I don’t have one hour of lunch, and I don’t need that.   Well, I was told this was the first time that the volunteers and staff did not all sit down together!   This made me feel that  I must be the only one who really has a hard time following orders.   Sorry, Vanessa!

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Now my moment of fame:  Viva o Som clinic is an outreach project funded by Telex/Oticon Brazil, and the Oticon headquarters in Denmark, with a mission to provide audiologic services and hearing aids to the residents of Parintins and neighboring communities.  Since Viva O Som clinic needs marketing for people to know of it’s existence, many types of advertisements were done, and today, for the second time, a TV station came to interview us, and I guess at this rate, before the end of this volunteer program, I would also have learned how to handle the reporters (and Paparazzi, I wish, or don’t I? ) better.

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