Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Surgery... Kabankalan 2015

Meet Lambert! 13 years old and finally getting a palate repair surgery. Lambert'a home is a structure with "cloth" for walls -which from driving around various Baragays (neighborhoods) we figured out is blue plastic tarp. No solid walls. He goes to school at the church for the poorest of the city! He was very unsure of us the first day when he checked in. We gave him a book and pencil and paper... And a small car that we thought he might be to "old" for but, "never too old" he smiled widely! Second day (when we took this picture) we gave him a memory game and taught him how to play! What fun to see a simple gesture on our part- like taking the time to play a game-made in this boy! He was sitting all day waiting for his surgery. During that time younger children getting surgery are crying from IV insertions to surgery recovery... All the time knowing he's next! Our host Flor described his living situation; it's very hard to focus on what we can do on a mission like this with all that needs to be done!
As we were leaving we snapped this picture of lambert playing the game himself and we encouraged some of the other parents to play games with him-and I'm sure they will! His mom could not spend the day; a brother of his was around somewhere but we did not see him! 
Lambert had his palate surgery on Saturday and we hope to see him next year for speech therapy!

Above a is 8 month old Jeffers before his cleft lip surgery. His smile ( which I didn't catch on camera) would make you smile or laugh out loud! He was so cute and happy! After surgery (below) mom was the one who kept smiling!! She was very happy with his new smile (although she clearly loved his old one too!). Hopefully they'll return next year to have Jeffers' cleft palate repaired!

Speech therapy ... Sunday through Saturday!

SPEECH therapy kept everybody busy for the last eight days! Cynthia Alleman (Boise, Idaho) and Theresa Snelling, (Denver, Colorado), team speech pathologists,  worked with 12 children twice a day. AL Snelling, sixth-grade teacher (Denver, Colorado)  tutored the speech students in math, reading and writing-keeping the children learning and engaged while smaller groups or individual speech sessions were provided! The children don't have much opportunity to play board games, card games or build with Legos- all of which they did during their week of therapy! 

Activities and crafts included painting/tie dye T-shirts which we all wore proudly around Kabankalan for the city "Charter Festival" going on all week (more on that in another blog entry!). Speech therapy was targeted in both the local language/dialect (Ilongo) and English. Schools are taught in English, per report, but most of the children do not speak conversationally in English and had difficulty understanding our English! The older students loved being "tested" in English translations while teaching and testing me in Ilongo! They were better with English than I was in Ilongo!!

I'll be traveling the next few days and will try and add some more information on the students in our speech program!
Enjoy a few pictures of the group activities and therapy!!