Thursday, May 23, 2013

The side effects of malaria pills

I checked up on the blog's stats today, and my jaw actually dropped. The stats are extremely broad, but I am shocked to see how many people follow this blog, and I just wanted to thank you all for being part of my journey! Your wonderful comments sent through email, Facebook and Skype have been super kind, and I appreciate everyone taking the time to read about my adventures here. It makes me even more excited to update the blog each day with stories, in my classic rambling fashion!

Last night, Jamie decided he wanted to see a doctor, as he was still feeling a bit lightheaded in the evening. The campus doctor scared us into thinking it might be malaria (as his mosquito net has not been covering his legs, and he gets a number of bites at night) and recommended that Jamie go get some tests at the hospital. Dr. Murty came over immediately and offered to connect Jamie with some of his private doctor friends, but unfortunately none were awake at that time as it was close to midnight. Dr. Murty told us that the man Jamie saw was in fact not a doctor, but rather a technician working the night shift at the campus clinic, and that Jamie's symptoms do not resemble that of malaria. Nevertheless, to be safe, he said he'd take Jamie to see the doctors in the daytime. Today was supposed to be Jamie's final day of teaching, but he decided that he wouldn't be able to focus on the prep, nor execution of the class session, and that it would be better for him to stay sleeping during class. (For the record, Jamie was told in the afternoon today by the doctor that it was most likely just side effects of the malaria pills, which are known to cause vivid dreams, dizziness and insomnia when taken at night, as Jamie has been doing! The doctor still administered the blood tests as per Jamie's request, and assured him that it's highly unlikely that it's actually malaria. He has been a lot better today as well, and much more active and lively, so not to worry!)

With the above as context, we woke up this morning and Chris and I were to take over the class for Jamie. Chris wanted to spend a small portion of the class talking about their one page business plan summaries, which were handed in yesterday, so I was therefore tasked with an impromptu class session for the students' final case. I was quite nervous, as it was my first time even opening the case, and am normally much more prepared with the direction I want to take the class in, and the key learnings that I'd like the students to get out of the class.

Nevertheless, we showed up early, and as Chris left to go print course evaluation sheets, I started talking to the students. I joked around with them, asking if they'd like to teach the session today, and they assured me that I should go ahead with it and it would be a fun class. And it most certainly was! There was some really great contribution, and we dove deep into the issues of the case together. At the end of class, I was humbled when everyone clapped, and extremely touched when they all laughed at my reaction to the clapping, as I really felt the connection to the class. Regis then stood up and explained on behalf of the class how grateful they were for me to accept the challenge in teaching this case without prior notice, and how they appreciated me "working so hard two days in a row." He proceeded to say something in KinyaRwanda, and then the entire class broke into a rhythmic clapping sequence, it was awesome! Little does Regis know that I absolutely love being up at the front of that room, and that it's not work, but rather a tremendous learning experience each time!

Chris and Regis then took some time to go through a role call for attendance, reminding the students of the requirements necessary to obtain a certificate of completion tomorrow. We've found that people have been secretly signing each other in, so this was a bit of an unfortunate note to end the class on, but definitely necessary to avoid disappointment tomorrow. We then passed out the course evaluations/feedback forms, and asked students to hand them back in tomorrow, before answering questions about the logistics for tomorrow's final presentations and celebrations. No one really wanted feedback on their summaries, so since class ended a bit early, a few people stuck around to talk to us. A few students asked for our contact information to stay in touch, and it hit me that we likely won't be seeing all of these wonderful people again. I cannot believe it's our last day tomorrow, and I'm getting emotional just thinking about it. I'm very grateful to have had such an incredible experience, with such incredible people!

In the afternoon, I did quite a bit of work at home. The sun was shining through my windows, and after a quick clean up of the house, I was super productive. I rewarded myself with a taxied trip downtown in the evening to go to prayers once again, and felt great about making the effort to go. They were excited to see me on a day other than Friday, and promptly asked me to lead the singing devotional recitation. I was thrilled to sing in the beautiful prayer hall, and returned home smiling. After a quick dinner at the faculty restaurant, Chris worked on the final logistics for tomorrow's session, while I inputted each of the 70+ students' names into our certificate template for printing tomorrow morning. The three of us then just sat around talking about the most bizarre things, including movie soundtracks, wacky restaurants, and new technologies. It's been a while since we've just sat around for so long talking about things other than our work, and we ended up staying quite late. It was all worth it though, as we enjoyed some delicious coconut biscuits and bonded over wild stories, and it really was a nice end to the day.

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