After working four days in the warehouse, Friday and Saturday were education days at Yancana Huasy. On Friday morning Sammie and I taught therapists, teachers and other professionals working with children with disabilities. The focus was on recognition of basic postural problems related to growth and how to address them by adjusting children’s wheelchairs. Carolyn Kelly and Steve Fox arrived late that night to join the Eleanore’s Project group.
On Saturday the focus was on families in the morning. Parents of children who will receive wheelchairs during this coming week gathered to learn basic principles of wheelchair positioning, maintenance/cleaning and safety. After a great lecture by Chris Ventura (Yancana Huasy occupational therapist), the group of 35 parents adjourned to a practical session on caregiver skills led by Carolyn Kelly. This included safe and practical strategies for dealing with curbs, stairs, rough terrain and other common situations.
After a lunch of pollo ala brasa (chicken) we returned to Yancana Huasy with the therapy staff for wheelchair skills training led by Carolyn. These skills are for wheelchair riders who can be more independent, and include learning to make tight turns, propel the wheelchair efficiently, and pop wheelies to move over small obstacles. We paired up and took turns riding and spotting each other, amid much laughter – it was fun as well as challenging!
Saturday night saw the arrival of ten people and by this morning our team of 16 people was complete. Stay tuned for an upcoming “Meet the 2011 Peru Team” post for introductions to this great group of people. We are ready for a 7:45 AM pick up in the Yancana Huasy bus, bright and early tomorrow morning!