Saturday, January 31, 2009

Update on Jen's Upcoming Africa Trip

This week I finally learned more about my trip to Africa this summer. There are seven women going as part of the clinical outreach team and then a few additional women who are the organizers. We will attend an international multicultural mental health conference in Gabarone, Botswana and during the conference we will have the opportunity to go sight seeing. That makes me very excited. I was afraid I was going to Africa and I wasn't going to get to do any of the touristy stuff (big sigh of relief).

After the conference we will spend one week in Gabarone colaborating with mental health agencies and providing supervision. They have a very limited number of mental health professionals and have asked for clinical supervision so they can have fresh ideas on how to better help their clients. We will also spend time in the schools and a day hospice center for individuals suffering from HIV/AIDS. These are two places where I will most likely get to conduct one-on-one counseling with the residents of Africa. We will also spend time doing informal outreach and helping the residents get connected with local resources so they have lasting help that will continue after our group has left.

I will also get to spend a week in Johannesburg, South Africa doing similar work. Sounds like we will also get to go to some of the smaller villages to see how the individuals live and to see what additional help we may be able to offer them.

We will also travel to Malawi where we will visit the National Black Child Development Institute. This is an organization aimed to help the children of Africa receive an education and have other needs met as well.

There is also a chance we will go to Cape Town because this group had a wonderful experience there in 2007. From now until my departure on July 3rd at 5:20PM from Washington Dulles Airport I will take part in monthly teleconference calls, online training, online readings, online videos, and online discussions. All in an effort to ensure I am culturally compenten to be of assistance to the individuals of Southern Africa. Also, it is so the group of us who are going can begin to get to know one another so we can be of support to each other while we are in Africa.

Just today I found out that my passport application has been approved. I should be getting it in the mail any day now. One less thing to worry about. My passport just came in the mail!!! Kara's jealous, she doesn't have one.


Bobby said...

What a great life experiance! Loving wildlife as much as I do, I'd so enjoy a trip like that. You better be posting pictures daily! And I'm following things with you guys on the IAC boards.

jilliebean said...

I wanna go to Africa!


Jen and Kara said...

No worries, I will post lots of picture! This trip was a great excuse to buy a new camera. Bobby and Greg....we might be talking to another birthmom tonight. Yikes!