Today we trekked to Chimteka Village about 100 km from ABC. We traveled in true Malawian fashion with 8 people in one vehicle and 7 in the other. The first road bump to starting our day involved a routine stop by immigration. Luckily, after much convincing and pleading we were able to continue toward our destination. It took us about 2 hours to reach our destination. The second road bump or bumps I should say was the actual car ride. All piled into the cars we were bopping around back and forth with each bump in the road.
After much time we finally reached Chimteka Village and quickly set up our stations to begin work. The stations included otoscopy, wax removal, OAES, tympanometry, hearing testing and ear impressions. We saw around 50 people today ranging in age from children to older adults. There was quite a few people with both normal hearing, unilateral and bilateral losses. In the beginning adjusting to the communication barrier was difficult, but the team valiantly took on the challenge. The HFH team is really developing a bond with the ABC team, working quite efficiently with one another.
We are learning a bunch of Chichewa phrases to communicate with our patients. Some comments about the patients here are that they are all very grateful and happy all the time. Also that they seem to not react much when things are being put into their ears. The children were not only super excited to see us, we caught them giggling at us doing jumping jacks. The experience here has thus been very different from that at ASU, but important in our development as audiologists.