Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kelly is back in Ethiopia....She has hit the ground running

Words from Kelly:

Things have been both good and a bit disappointing. Some things that we're implemented in Kebebtsehay
seem to have been pushed to the wayside with the move into the new building and hiring a lot of new caregivers. I'm meeting with the director and then with Alex tomorrow so I'm hoping to have some more information as far as what is manageable, what's working, what's not working, etc. I will keep you updated.

There have been SO many changes at Kebebtsehay. There is a HUGE new amazing two story building on the campus that most of the kids have moved into. The babies and toddlers are on the second floor with some
of the older ones on the first floor. The two old buildings are currently being remodeled to house the oldest kids at Kebebtsehay. It was almost eerie going into the old baby house. It was still painted blue with the old dresser missing a couple of drawers but had dust and debris everywhere. It was silent. I explained the old set up to Nick;
what everything looked like, where it all was. This new building feels like a fresh start, in a good way and in a not
my favorite way. All the toys we brought before are somewhere unknown, the dry erase board with the schedule for the babies and toddler is also gone. I haven’t given up hope yet; since it was the weekend, the director wasn’t there and neither was Alex, so tomorrow I should have
some more information.


Home again...with a LOT of work to do!

It feels SO good to be back here in Ethiopia. It really feels like home and although some things look so completely different, the people are just as amazing.

There are a lot of new kiddos with special needs at Kebebtsehay; seven, actually. I haven’t had a chance to spend much time in their room yet except to know that a few of them are very sick. Tomorrow I’ll meet with Alex and the director to see what our objectives are for the next two weeks. I have some high hopes of getting all the kiddos who need physical therapy on a set program with Alex with the ones who are appropriate set up with the stander, donated from the AMAZING company Kaye Products. Seriously, check them out. What great people. Because the building is so new, there is some great space in the first floor and an outdoor patio on the second floor that the caregivers are open to having us create into a playroom to encourage some developmental stimulation. Ideally, we’d love to set up the first floor because it’s really an amazing space, it’s not realistic for the caregivers to carry all the babies and toddlers down there every day, so we can pretty much comfortably say that isn’t going to happen. We’re brainstorming the patio and will keep you updated, of course!

I also have been asked to present our caregiver education program again because so many new caregivers have been hired. We’re looking at doing some re-working of the information and trying to condense a little because I just don’t think we have the time to pull it all off to the same extent this time around. My mind is swirling with some
ideas of creating it as some sort of training program that all new employees of the orphanage must complete. Perhaps making it into a manual with great pictures and resources. Of course this also needs to then be translated into Amharic. Ekk. The babies and toddlers would really benefit from being back on a schedule again, so we’ll be
revisiting that part of what we had done last time, too.

We’re hoping to get a Kechene project going in a few days, so stay tuned! We have some good ideas to be working on once we’re back in the States.

Can’t believe I forgot to give you all the best news….ELSHADAY WAS ADOPTED! If any of you remember the kiddos we worked with last time we were here, Elshaday was one of the sicker kiddos. He had some serious
nutrition issues and impairments that we’re causing him to aspirate and Keely and I tried to get some things going for him, but you just never know once you leave. It is amazing news that he is somewhere getting the love and attention he needs and deserves. This really feels like one of the missions of Superkids coming full circle for me; working with a child, focusing on their physical impairments in an attempt to make them more functional and improve their quality of life and then knowing they have a forever family that will continue striving towards those goals every day. These are the things that keep me going.

I had some really amazing high hopes to blog every day….SO not happening. Not because I don’t have access to internet this time (theoretically, we have internet in our guest house), but because there is so much to do and so little time! Hope to be updating you all
soon! :)

K