PROJECT XANTHIA – MISSION TO SOUTH AFRICA

africa1Oticon and the American Academy of Audiology Foundation joined together to put People First into action in Xanthia, South Africa, a part of the world most in need of hearing health care services.

Oticon and the AAAF sponsored Jamie Shumaker and Julie Verhoff for a unique humanitarian mission to South Africa led by Jackie L. Clark, Ph.D./CCC-A; F-AAA, University of Texas at Dallas. The mission brought much-needed audiological care and supplies to remote villages including Mpumalanga, the location of the Oticon Xanthia Hearing Clinic. The impact of thier good works continues today.

Here we have the opportunity to see Jackie and her expedition team in action!

Mission Posts

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THANK YOU OTICON AND THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF AUDIOLOGY FOUNDATION

My time spent in South Africa will be forever memorable. I am sincerely grateful to Oticon and the American Academy of Audiology Foundation for giving me the opportunity to once again work with Dr. Jackie Clark and her team of humanitarian audiologists. Working alongside such amazing professionals, students, and the Read More

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TRIP SUMMARY

I had such an amazing experience while in South Africa! Due to spotty internet conntection we were only able to blog sporadically, so I wanted to submit another blog with summarizing some of my thoughts regarding the trip. Our time in South Africa made me realize how much we have Read More

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TIA 9-AUGUST

Annie Cardella Third-Year AuD Student, UT-Dallas Friday, July 30, 2010: Before the Mission had Begun It is very early in the morning, and I am on the tail end of a flight from Frankfurt Germany to Johannesburg South Africa.  Breakfast just arrived, and it is surprisingly delicious considering the food Read More

Kath & Erika testing

TIA 8-AUGUST

Sorry for the lag in adding blog info.  It seems the only internet connections we were able to establish on many days was while in a van on bumpy roads.  What a THRILL!! I continue to be in awe of the many colleagues, friends and just plain people I come Read More

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AUGUST 7, 2010

We had another great day at Xanthia. We started the morning with the students participating in a group discussion about the differences in audiology in the US and South Africa. Following that discussion, we travelled to Xanthia and Julie and I worked with some of the Witz students to complete Read More

JULIE MARTINEZ VERHOFF, AU.D./PH.D CANDIDATE, CCC/A; F-AAA

SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, 2010: LAST DAY AT OTICON’S XANTHIA CLINIC

Today was a great day. We woke up early and ate breakfast at the lode with the other faculty from Wits. Then we went to the lodge across the street where the students were staying and held a workshop where the students from the US and the students from Wits Read More

Sara helping one of the Wits students program a hearing aid.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, 2010: HEADING TO OTICON’S XANTHIA CLINIC

This morning we ate breakfast with the supervisors for the group from the University of Witwatersrand.  Then we picked up the students (about 30) from the Kruger Adventure Park lodge across the street and head to Xanthia. The students at the University of Witwatersrand are in a four year post high Read More

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AUGUST 6, 2010

Another early start, but it was an amazing day! I feel so blessed to have had to the opportunity to take part in this trip and being able to see the clinic at Xanthia and work there was just so humbling to me. We started the morning by eating a Read More

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AUGUST 5, 2010

Wow what a day!!!  We started out very early…leaving the farm at 6am to get on the road to Hazyview.  We were informed that it could take 6-7 hours by microbus to get there, so we wanted to get an early start.  We had a nice drive and saw a Read More

Kath & Erika testing

TIA 4-AUGUST

There is a great deal of beauty at the farm where we have been staying on the banks of the Vaal River outside of Parys.  A dear friend has allowed us to stay at the family farm, which has 5 bedrooms, for FREE!! That price is RIGHT.  We are surrounded by Read More

I wish all children were this easy to condition during play audiometry.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, 2010: PRESCHOOL TESTING

Today we were up and in the micobus by 7:00 am in order to make it to town to pick up our guide.  Everyone worked together to get breakfast ready, the equipment all packed up, and snacks packed for lunch. As soon as we arrived at each of the preschools Read More

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AUGUST 4, 2010

Another busy day! Again we tested over 100 children today!  We had another great day testing in various preschools.  We also enjoyed interacted with the children and Julie had the opportunity to teach the children how to play duck, duck, goose!   At the end of the day, we got to see a Read More

Kelli, a third year Au.D. student at the University of Texas, screens a childs hearing

AUGUST 3, 2010

VERY BUSY DAY!!! We visited 6 preschools today and tested over 100 children! We were greeted at each preschool by the excited children. The schools had various conditions; some of with dirt floors and some with linoleum floors, several of them had educational pictures on the wall. Our testing conditions Read More

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TUESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2010: 130 CHILDREN, 6 SCHOOLS, 1 LONG DAY

The indentifying mark of a school in a township are the painted tires sticking out of the ground.  Some of the schools were in different locations than the addresses we had.  Someone would shout, “This isn’t it, there aren’t any tires!” We played with some of the children at one of the Read More

Jamie performing otoscopy before screenings.

MONDAY, AUGUST 2, 2010: PRESCHOOL TESTING IN PARYS

Today was a busy day. We went to five different schools and tested over 100 preschool children. Luckily one of the occupational therapists that knows the area we were working in well, helping us to navigate the town and find each of the schools.  

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AUGUST 2, 2010

We had another great day.  It started early as we had to be up and ready to leave by 7:15 am to head out to several preschools to complete otoscopy, cerumen management, tympanometry, otoacoustic emssisions, and behavioral thresholds.  We had a great time traveling to the schools and interacting with the children!

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SUNDAY, AUGUST 1, 2010: HUIS EMILY HOBHOUSE ASSISTIVE LIVING CENTER

Today was our official first day of working in the field.  We started the day by picking up Brent, the audiologist/speech language pathologist from the Sasleborg hospital.  Brent is the audiologist/speech language pathologist for his territory. We were all very excited to see that she arrived at the Huis Emily Hobhouse assistive Read More

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AUGUST 1, 2010

We had a great day at Senior Home where we were able to work with several adults.  We performed otoscopy, cerumen management, tympanometry, hearing screenings, and hearing aid fittings.  Fortunately, Kelli, our team member that had gotten delayed several times in her travel to South Africa arrived today!  We were happy to meet Read More

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JULY 31, 2010

We had a very exciting day!  It started with a great breakfast of fresh fruit, eggs, bacon, and tea at the Outlook Lodge.  We then left the lodge to meet up with the rest of the team, only to find that the driver left us.  Fortunately, Julie had rented a Read More

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SATURDAY, JULY 31, 2010: MEETING UP WITH THE TEAM AND TOURING SOWOTO AND CHRIS HANNA BARGWANATH HOSPITAL.

Jamie and I feasted at the Outlook Lodge for breakfast before heading to Africa Centre Lodge to meet up with the other team members.  We ended up arriving at the Africa Centre Lodge a few minutes late because the driver at the Outlook lodge was running late. Fortunately the inn’s Read More

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FRIDAY, JULY 30, 2010: FINALLY ARRIVED IN JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA!

I finally arrived in Johannesburg today at 8:35 am. The flight on South African Airlines was not as comfortable as my flights on Continental, but we left on time and arrived early in Johannesburg.  Stupidly I gave up my aisle seat and ended up sitting in an aisle seat next to Read More

Kath & Erika testing

TIA 30-JULY

As our team members slowly make their way into the country, we have at this moment 5 who have already arrived after their arduous excursion.  Unfortunately, one of the team members missed her connecting flight in Washington, D.C.  If there were more than one flight to South Africa per day Read More

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JULY 30, 2010

After a 15 hour flight, I arrived safely in Johannesburg!  I was greeted at the airport by someone from our lodge.  After exchanging US dollars for SA Rand, I was ready to go, and my driver took me to the Outlook Lodge, where Julie and I are staying for the evening.  Read More

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THURSDAY, JULY 29, 2010: 14 HOUR LAYOVER IN MUNCH, GERMANY

Arrived in Munich around at 7:30 this morning (1:30am EST).  Got off the plane to see passengers eating breakfast and drinking beer.  I’ve never tried eggs and beer, but it looked like people were really enjoying it.هه   The three hours of sleep I got on the plane must not have been Read More

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JULY 28, 2010: AIR FORCE ONE AND BIOCOUSTICS

I rushed to the airport to be on time only to find my flight was delayed a few hours because the President’s plane (Air Force One) was at the Newark airport. How’s that for the start of a mission trip? What a day! Chris and I woke up early and Read More

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TIA 29-JULY

The entire team will start arriving into O.R. Tambo Airport beginning tomorrow (Friday) morning through evening. Hopefully after a day and evening of acclimating to the COLD and 7 hour time difference following their 15 – 32 hour travels to arrive in Johannesburg they will be ready to tour a Read More

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TUESDAY, JULY 27, 2010: THE COOLEST BACKPACK EVER!

The backpack I purchased for the trip has definitely come in handy.  Just when you think you have filled every last nook and cranny there is still more room. However, I am not sure if this is a good thing or not considering I have to carry the bag myself.  But it is Read More

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TIA 27-JULY

In the usual Africa style, the challenges are erupting as we are close to departure date.  Planning has been going relativley smooth (for Africa).  Urgently at hand is the plans for ground transportation to take us through 3 S. African Provinces.  Our original “quote”/guesstimate was R1000 (i.e. US$136.96) per day has Read More

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JULY 21, 2010 GETTING READY FOR AFRICA!!!

Eight days to go until I fly out to South Africa to officially meet the rest of the team! I can not believe it is almost here! I have been praying for several years for the opportunity to take part in an Audiology mission trip. I feel so blessed to Read More

JULIE MARTINEZ VERHOFF, AU.D./PH.D CANDIDATE, CCC/A; F-AAA

SEVEN DAYS TO GET EVERYTHING PACKED

Passport is ready, vaccines are all up to date, laptop is a go, and now I just need to figure out how to fit supplies and clothes for two and half weeks into a backpack and small carryon?  Any ultalight backpackers out there with a few tips?  Those “As Seen On TV” Read More

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DAY 1 – THIS IS AFRICA!

Though called the Rainbow Nation, South Africa is also known for it’s stark contrasts.  Even after traveling to South Africa for the past 13 years, I continue to be in awe of it’s beauty, friendliness of people, and numerous curiosities.  Though a Rainbow Nation the country is much like the Read More

Mission Bloggers

Kath & Erika testing

This is the13th year of working with the underserved of Southern Africa (from 1998 – 2008 Mozambique and 2009 & 2010 South Africa) who are deaf or suffer from hearing loss.ف فThe focus of the mission has always been to build relationship and leave substance by engaging with local professionals Read More

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Dr. Shumaker earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders from Auburn University and her master’s degree in Audiology from the University of South Alabama. She completed her clinical externship at the VA Medical Center in Birmingham, AL with the completion of her doctoral degree from Salus University. Dr. Shumaker gained Read More

JULIE MARTINEZ VERHOFF, AU.D./PH.D CANDIDATE, CCC/A; F-AAA

Julie and her husband moved from Los Angeles, California to Arlington, Virginia in April 2010. While in LA she worked at the House Ear Institute in the Communication Neuroscience Laboratory collecting data for her dissertation which she will defend at Gallaudet University this fall. Julie recently accepted a position as Read More