Today marked mine and Jenny’s last “official” work day here in Ankara, so I thought it would be a good time to update my blog. Our time here has been short, yet, in just a few weeks I feel as if I have made lifetime connections and am beginning to see why Turkey tugs so strongly at Jenny's heart. We have had the privilege of providing hands on training in sensory integrations, body mechanics and transfers and accompanying the women of Kardelen on 6 home visits. We also had the opportunity to help 2 of the Kardelen workers, Necla and Hulya with their own personal therapy needs. Jenny and I have taken close to a thousand pictures, so narrowing them down to a mere 36 was a challenging task. There are so many stories to be told, but I think they are best told through pictures, so sit down, have a cup of cay (tea) and enjoy!
Sensory Integration Training: Last Friday we met at Kardelen’s Streams of Mercy Center where we were able to provide some basic principles and hands-on practice on sensory integration techniques. The women were attentive and were eager to participate, which made the trainings not only worthwhile but also quite fun! Norita, the director of Kardelen, did a fabulous job translating and truly “gets” SI.
|Necla volunteers for some vestibular input|
|Jenny and I showing how to use a swing|
|Tuba enjoys some deep pressure|
|Kardelen staff in their sensory room|
|Dilek and Gulsen practice joint compressions|
|Tuba, Dawn and Necla|
|Jenny is very loved by the Kardelen women|
|Kisses from Hulya|
Anitkabir: Saturday was a free day, so Jenny took the opportunity to provide me with a little Turkish history and culture lesson. We spent the day at Anitkabir, a national monument to Ataturk who was the founder/first president of Turkey. Pictures and statues of Ataturk are everywhere in the country. He remains highly revered and beloved by the Turkish people. If you are interested in reading more about Ataturk and his role in creating Turkey, please go to Jenny’s blog at: www.jennycrandall.blogspot.com
|Jenny and I at Anitkabir|
|Aslan (lion in Turkish) attacks Jenny!|
|Circumcision Day~read more on Jenny's blog|
On Thursday we visited Mehmet, a 13 year old boy with spastic cerebral palsy, and then Emine, a 23 year old with cognitive and some physical limitations. We were able to provide the families and Kardelen workers (Hulya and Gulsen) with some suggestions and also provided some hands-on therapy. Jenny also spent quality time teaching Emine’s mom back exercises and good body mechanics.
|Showing Hulya and Mehmet's mom some therapy techniques|
|Mehmet and Jenny|
|Walking with Emine|
|Sevim (Emine's mom) and Jenny|
|Caffer showing Jenny old photographs|
|Reviewing Caffer's medical reports with Dr Candy, Jenny and Norita|
|Group photo at Caffer's|
|Dr Candy and Jenny with Ibrahim and Caffer|
|Enjoying a Turkish feast at Ibrahim's|
Tuesday we went with Dilek and Serife, 2 of Kardelen’s workers to our last home visit. Getting to this particular woman required taking a dolmus (mini-van), a metro, a train, and then a walk up a steep hill. Golbeyaz is a woman in her 50s who fell ~4 years ago and ended up with a spinal cord injury. She is basically bed-ridden and has no family to help; relying on her neighbors’ mercy to bring her food and assist with basic needs. She has a wheelchair, but it is too small for her so Kardelen is trying to raise money to provide her with a new wheelchair. Jenny and I were able to show her ways to get in/out of bed and we then helped her get into her wheelchair and go outside. To see her affect change as soon as she was outside was priceless. She went from tearful to joyful!
|Jenny teaching weight shifts|
|Group picture with Gulbeyaz outside in her wheelchair|
Tuesday night was quite special as we were invited to dinner at Sedat’s, one of Jenny’s former patients, home. It was great to finally meet Sedat as well as his family. Selda, Sedat’s sister-in-law, is a university professor of special education so we ended up having great conversations. By the end of the night, Suat (Sedat’s brother) dubbed us the “sisterhood of sensory integration”. Selda has invited me to come back and teach some lectures at the university, so perhaps a return to Turkey is in the future.
|Jenny and Sedat|
|Ahhh heaven! Turkish cay (tea) with Sedat's mom|
|"Sisterhood of Sensory Integration"~me with Selda, Sedat's sister-in-law|
Today (Thursday) we returned to Streams of Mercy (Kardelen’s office) to provide training on body mechanics and transfers. The women were eager to learn and so appreciative. At the end, Jenny and I were given handmade gifts (made by Dilek) and then the women each individually spoke to us, thanked us and asked God’s blessing on us. The women of Kardelen have exemplified for me what it means to show humility, compassion and passion for sharing Christ. It had truly been an honor to serve alongside them.
|Jenny educating on transfer techniques|
|Jenny did a great job role playing a person with spasticity|
|Teaching 2 person lifts|
|Jenny, Norita and Dawn|
|The amazing Kardelen staff|
Dawn (and Jenny)