Thursday, August 25, 2011

Measuring Success

I hope everyone remembers what kind of projects I mentioned in my last update and how I was sure these things would be completed within the short time frame of being home (aw. at site)...

So, I put my foot down and was determined to start, conquer and finish an accelerated HEARTH model: a workshop for mothers with moderately malnourished babies between the ages of 6 - 9 months which lasts for five to seven days meeting each morning to make enriched porridge and discuss certain
health related topics. phew!

I talked with my wonderful counterpart Allisone to get the ball moving and we decided to work with five women for seven days (we ended up working with four of the five women due to the fact that on the day of the baseline we found out one of the woman's baby was five months and couldn't participate in the program). These women all had babies between six and nine months of age. We started on a Friday (really, I suppose technically we started on the Thursday to obtain the baseline and weigh the babies) and continued until the following Thursday.

First two days: Nutrition; the three food groups (enérgetique, constructeur & protecteur), how to use them and why. We played a game to gage the women's comprehension of the lesson... it was fun. Then we talked about malnutrition and the two types prevalent here in Burkina Faso (Marasmus and Kwashiokor)

Next thing I know the women trick me into letting them off for a day (for church, of course, pff) and then they end up not showing up for two more consecutive days. Boo. The first morning after church I went to the maternity and waited there for about an hour until I finally went to their individual houses to see if they were there or not. Well, they were. I found Martine just making some tô for her family and when I asked what she was doing and why she hadn't come to the session she said "oh, we can just do it tomorrow right?" blargh. No! I found the other three women doing the same thing and I told all of them I'd be waiting for them at the maternity... they didn't show. The same event occurred the following day and as soon as I was about to call it quits the fourth day they all showed up... well, three women showed (hey, it's better than NONE!)

Fourth day: Family Planning; why it's necessary to take time off in-between birthing children, contraceptive options in Sourou (Depo Provera, male condoms and birth control pills), how to properly use a condom (all seven steps).

Fifth day rolls around and I'm pretty content on just having a five day formation now... it's better than nothing and it's at least something that I can work off when I get back from the tour. I wait at the maternity with high hopes of the women showing up on time, being interested in the discussion of family planning and making enriched porridge again...

an hour passes...

No one shows up. Take a breath. Okay. I guess they don't want to show up again. I'll come back again tomorrow - I won't give up on the workshop. The next day rolls around and the same thing happens and I'm completely deflated. One more day left and I ask myself if it's even worth staying in village to wait it out or just to go up to Ouaga or another village to help out another volunteer. I decide to stay.

New plans. I'll plant my mango trees (I bought three of them: one for the CSPS, one for the school and one for my family). I go to the CSPS Friday morning and plant the tree with Allisone. I also waited for the women to show up (I really wasn't expecting them to... but you never know)... they never did. So. Three disconnected days of a HEARTH workshop and one day of planting trees.

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