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Journals from HHPA/HESC 398 Island Health Care: Type 2 Diabetes in the Bahamas January Term 2012

2012-01-18 Formal Presentations and PTA meetings

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It was quite a busy day for us today here! Most of us woke up at sunrise, as usual, and got our exercise in before the heat hit. After breakfast, two people stayed at the Island School with Janet to help put together a powerpoint for a presentation, while the other ten of us went with Jay to two different schools in Rock Sound. Four people talked with two classes back to back at the primary school, and then six of us split up into groups of three to talk to two different classes at the same time at the high school.

I was with Brody and Allison, and we talked to the ninth graders. It took some coaxing before the students started warming up to us, and I was impressed with how bright they were! After talking with so many younger students at the primary schools for the past few presentations, I was taken by surprise with how much the ninth graders knew about diabetes and physiology in general! After the class finished, the teacher Ms. Bane told us, “I have NEVER seen them so quiet before…not even during a test!” I made sure to let her know that they seemed like great students and I could tell that they knew their stuff, even though they were quiet.

When we went to pick up the people from the primary school again, they were finishing up, so the six of us went to a place nearby called Ocean Hole, which was very cool. It is basically a tunnel that comes from the ocean but it is just a large hole of water from where we were standing. It was decorated like a park, though, and we tried to feed the fish but all we had were yogurt-covered pretzels, and we found that it isn’t the best bait, although one fish was nibbling away.

After coming back, we spent the rest of the time preparing for our presentation to the Island School…I lay outside for a bit and read– I’m pretty sure I fell asleep at one point, but it was one of those naps where it could have been a really long nap or maybe it was only a minute, I really couldn’t tell…I’ll never know because I didn’t check the time before I started reading but either way, it was refreshing. Our presentation to the Island School went very well, and this was the first one where all 12 of us spoke during the same presentation. People came in and out while we spoke, but I think people benefited from the information and it was different from most of the presentations that occur here. Afterward, we put on a mini-wellness fair for the people here at the Island School. We set up different stations like height and weight, blood pressure, blood glucose testing, body fat percentage, and grip strength testing. I was inside working with Rosemarie at the body fat percentage station, using a Bioelectrical Impedence Analysis machine (BIA) but I could hear Christian running the grip strength station, and it sounded like a blast. I walked outside after everyone had left and there were scores on a chalkboard; he had turned it into a competition. It sounded rowdy, and it reminded me of a weight room, so the scoreboard clarified that for me.

After dinner, we all went to a PTA meeting at Deep Creek Middle School. We were under the impression that we would be giving a casual presentation, or that it would be more a question and answer type situation. When we got there, however, they were already starting their meeting, and we were introduced but there was really no place for us to speak because they were trying to figure out a lot of things for their kids and classes and future plans for the school. We ended up not speaking at all, but sitting/standing through the whole meeting. Even though we really didn’t have any business being there, I still found myself enjoying it because the people there were animated and I liked seeing the way that the parents and teachers sort through their topics. Most of the people there had a good sense of humor, so I was able to get some laughs in…I wish I were able to see a PTA meeting from the States and be able to compare it to that. I’m sure they are quite similar, but I was still very amused with the use of humor through the whole meeting. Afterward, we left not really knowing why we were there, but a lot of us bought raffle tickets to help fundraise for the 8th graders to go to Washington DC, and I really enjoyed hearing all of the ideas from the people at the meeting, and the vibe of the meeting overall.

Erika

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