Thursday, 30 April 2009

GX Week 5

Monday 20th April

As usual with Monday's at Catch 22 there wasn't alot for us to do today but I occupied myself updating the job folder and creating a list of useful job, career and volunteering websites.

Tuesday 21st April

Today Olga and I semi-delivered our own session with the learners. A quiz on Kazakhstan. I like the idea of being able to deliver learning. I think I did it quite well during our GCD. The feedback I have got from some of the other members of the team is that the day was well structured and that I led and guided the learning well. However our group is alot easier to work with than the one at Catch 22 despite some of them being the same age. I would like to practise delivery, preferably with a smaller group. A mistake I make is trying to talk over them when I've given up waiting for them to be quiet. I am not as loud as 20 teenagers! Today I also learnt that you can get a first class degree without ever knowing the difference between practice and practise. Gulnara made a fish dish for dinner which I made a token effort at eating before warming up some macaroni cheese.

Wednesday 22nd April

I forgot to write my diary for the first time today. The important points from the day were being impressed with the amount of work and focus some of the learners put into their health and safety floorplans and semi-delivering another session on planning a journey, which turned out to be much more time consuming for the learners than I had expected.

Thursday 23rd April

This morning I helped a learner fill out their college application form and was surprised but pleased to receive what I think was a genuine thank you from them at the end of the day. In the afternoon the learners watched the first half of 'The Wind That Shakes the Barley' which is an interesting film about the Irish War of Indepence and the Irish Civil War but did not hold their attention as well as 'Crash'. In the evening we went for the second time to African drumming and found ourselves significantly behind the others. Finally Gulnara and I sat down at the end of the day to evaluate our GCD which went pretty well if I do say so myself.

Friday 24th April

As tomorrow April 25th is World Malaria Day, Sarah and Olga chose to conduct their GCD on that very topic. We learnt the following facts:

Three times more children in Africa are killed by Malaria than by HIV & AIDS.

Forty percent of the world's population is at risk.

The word Malaria means 'bad air' , but it is not caused by that (hope everyone knows that).

It can not be sexually transmitted.

Malaria is not more dangerous if you've had it before. In fact you build up a resistance.

Malaria was present across Europe and the USA in 19th Century.

Up to sixty percent of hospital admissions in Africa are due to Malaria.

Yearly clinical cases of Malaria are 300-500 million.

Yearly deaths are 1.5 - 2.7 million.

One million of these are children in Africa.

Two billion people are at risk.

In 2009 $5.3 billion is needed for Malaria control worldwide.

Africa loses £12 billion a year due the economic impact of Malaria.

A child dies of Malaria every 30 seconds.

Malaria is completly treatable and preventable.

We played a game of catch, demonstrating how Malaria spreads from the liver through the blood stream and then played a Malarial version of the trading game, in which pairs were given different incomes and situations and had to buy food and/or Malaria protection for themselves and their family. Most of those pairs with little money chose to feed themselves over purchasing a bed net. We then watched some videos from Malaria charities such as Malaria No More. One was about President Bush's Malaria Programme or PMI (Presidents Malaria Initiative) , which might be interesting to look into. Maybe President Bush wasn't all bad afterall? The most interesting video for me was about a voucher system for distributing bed nets in Tanzania in which pregnant women received a voucher covering the majority of the cost of a bed net at their medical appointment. The video argued, and I am inclined to agree, that private sector involvement makes the programme much more sustainable. Nets will continue to be produced once the world has moved on and aid dries up. Plus people are more likely to use the nets when they have paid something for them. The simple act of going to the store and choosing their nets allows a person to make a key decision affecting their family's health. Finally we looked at a couple of case studies and heard the story of a volunteer from the UK who felt so sorry for some African children suffering from Malaria that he gave them his anti-malarials. Within a week of returning home he was dead. Malaria might not be something that will affect us on this exchange but it is something that the majority of the other GX teams will have to face. It was good to be reminded that we are not the only GX team. A good quote from the GCF can be employed here; 'If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to sleep with a mosquito.' In the evening we rushed home for dinner and then walked over to Efua's to watch Mama Mia with the girls. I found the film more enjoyable this second time around, being prepared for the cheesiness of the whole thing.

Saturday 25th April

Got up comparatively late today, it was 9:30am! Missing the walk from Bishops Stortford to Sawbridgeworth as I had planned. After a little lunch I headed into town to use the library internet facilities and do a little shopping. I decided to stock up on toiletries and had to break out my bank card for the first time having exhusted my £15 a week allowance. I had fun trying on various dresses in the highstreet stores, looking for sewing inspiration and what did and didn't suit me (note to self: Tulip shapes and anything that clings at the thighs is not good!). I caught the bus to Bishops Stortford with Aigera for our Russian themed party (why it was Russian themed and not Kazakh I don't know). I did not find traditional Russian party food as appetising as English, consisting mostly of potato, onions, fish and gherkins. However the party was quite a success with music, dancing, party games (often involving blindfolds!) and enough vodka to go around. Although finishing at 11pm it was hardly wild and most, including myself, kept a good check on their vodka intake.

Toasting, Russian/Kazakh style

Sunday 26th April

Got up at 10am today, jealous of Gulnara who managed to sleep until midday, and chatted to Ilma before she went out. In the afternoon a small group of us headed to Pet's Corner in Harlow park where Gulnara got spat on by a lama and splashed with mud by a rouge duck.


Anonymous said...

never seen a red duck before

CatFish said...

Oooh the dyslexia strikes again! Correction, a rogue duck.