The details!

We are getting so close – I can feel it! Only 17 days till departure and only 12 days till SLHS in Zambia classes begin in earnest!! This week I have received itinerary confirmations and contact information from folks we will be working with in Lusaka. And the travel agency has sent our airline tickets and local contact information also.

Meanwhile the Purdue student e-mail exchanges with student “buddies” from the University of Zambia are continuing. I am learning a lot and really enjoying these e-mails. I hope the students are too.

I wish the end of the semester work (a lot since my class final exam is on Thursday night and I’ll have to grade 22 exams!) and patient appointments would get wrapped up sooner so I could just think about Zambia more…..maybe next week! 🙂

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23 days till departure!

Yes – we have now started counting in days instead of weeks!! Today we had our last spring semester meeting. Twelve students, 2 faculty, Team Zambia shirts – we are ready to go! The past 2 weeks have been a hectic time with communications with our partners in Zambia back and forth to arrange our daily itinerary while we are there. I am so happy to have a tentative daily schedule more than 3 weeks in advance!! That is pretty amazing! Of course there is still a ton to do, but we have almost all the required forms and now we are on the final stretch!!DSCN3242

Less than FIVE weeks to go!

This past week has been a super busy and productive week for the program! A lot was accomplished via communications with our community partners in Zambia 🙂 We now have a tentative itinerary including our daily schedule while in Lusaka! And we also have contact with 11 students at the University of Zambia who seem excited to communicate with our students and whom we hope to meet in Lusaka in May! The cultural exchange between the two groups is off to a good start! We also got to meet our primary contact at the Travel Agency we are working with – Maggy Younger, who has been most helpful with our travel arrangements and answering our many questions!

This week, instead of working so much on details and logistics of the SLHS in Zambia program, I’ll spend time talking about our Zambia program at the annual CAPCSD (Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders) convention in Phoenix! I am excited to share this information with others outside of Purdue!

Six weeks to go!

Six weeks until we leave – the countdown has begun! And things are definitely happening – we have the beginnings of an itinerary now from our primary community partner: Beit Cure Hospital, a non-profit hospital that provides neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery and ENT/Audiology in Lusaka, Zambia. And we are busy reading the first assignments from the students enrolled in the class. If you have not read “The Boy who Harnessed the Wind” by William Kamkwamba and Brian Mealer, reading it will give you an idea of the living conditions of the poor in Zambia (although the book is set in Malawi a neighboring country – Zambia is not much different). And it is an inspiring story of self-learning and problem solving without access to a formal education. We hope our group’s experiences help us all learn from our trip and become inspired to do whatever little we can…