18 February 2013

Chapter 2: We Have a Gym

When discussing prime real estate, they say location is everything.  When I arrived in Galmi near the start of 2011, I was given a small office space that was central to the whole of the hospital.

I'd like to think that gesture was intentional . . . an unspoken commentary on the recognition of the importance of physical rehabilitation on the patient care spectrum . . . but really, it was just the only space available that hadn't yet been condemned.

Working in such cramped quarters had it's advantages . . . if a pair of crutches started to slip in one corner of the room while simultaneously a patient began to fall in the opposite corner . . . no problem!  Two outstretched arms, and crisis averted.

You know how they say 'Three's a crowd' . . . well, in the old therapy office, four was a mob.

Mama's receive counseling in the 'waiting room'
before our weekly Club Foot Clinic
I refer to it as 'an office' because I don't know that there is a Hausa word for 'Walk-In Closet'.

But, as the proverb says, 'good things come to those that wait' (or was it 'the squeaky wheel gets the grease'???  Nah, we'll go with the first one!!) . . . and our little department isn't quite so 'little' anymore . . . at least in terms of square footage!

That's right, folks!  We have a gym!

An official, proper Therapy Gym!

With leg room!  And parallel bars!  And racks for the thera-balls!!  And a full-length mirror!! (No, that last one is for ambulation training, NOT so I can admire myself all day long, contrary to popular opinion.)  With benches outside providing a nice 'waiting room' and a separate corner office and designated storage space!  I even have a wall that is covered in chalkboard paint!

We're talking the Taj Mahal of mission hospital therapy gyms (if it wasn't for my newly renovated kitchen at home, I might never want to leave at the end of the day)!

Welding Galmi Hospital's first set of Parallel Bars!
There is something pretty energizing about starting the whole thing with an empty room and seeing it transform into a functional department.

But it took more than just relocating to a bigger space!

I wish I had all the sketches I had given the carpenters and metal workers . . . the parallel bars alone required three or four different sets, with countless conversations in French, English and Charades, and the repetitive use of improved visual aids.

So folks, this is Chapter 2; Lord willing, with many more to follow!


Kim Saiia Coffey said...


Vanessa said...

Oh il faut que je vienne voir toutes ces nouvelles choses alors!!! =)

Elizabeth said...

Whoop whoop this is a big deal! But now I want pictures of the new kitchen too!

Deb. said...

NO WAY!! Then everyone will know I don't really live in a mud hut!! :)

Deb. said...

Ouais!! Viens!! Tous sont bienvenue!!