Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Screening Day 2

The eye is the jewel of the body.
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Excited about having their eyes tested

Another 6:30 am start. However, I arrive to the office to find Sara there and not another soul. Apparently the students took it on themselves to tell the bus driver not to show up until 7:30. Considering we were supposed to be in Enekewni at 7:30 to start at 8, you can imagine we were p!ssed. Especially when I could have had another hour in bed!
Symon helping measure V.A

Today was very different to yesterday. Today we were screening at a primary school. Our aim was to see kids and get their vision corrected as young as possible so that they could progress through school and have as good as education as possible. The education system here is slightly different to at home, the kids need to pass each class (called standards) to progress to the next level. This results in some children having to repeat classes multiple times. As you can imagine, bad eyesight would be a HUGE disadvantage in this case. Also the classes I have seen have anything from 60-120 children. Yup, you are reading that correctly. The teachers here are saints. Teaching that many children, with many sitting on the floor as there are nowhere near enough tables and chairs, dealing with children with mental problems etc etc.
Why is the mzungu taking my photo?

So we began with the youngest classes and screened ALL of the standard ones and twos (approx 200 students under 7). Then after lunch we screened the teachers and specially selected students who the teachers suspected had vision problems. Dealing with the kids was very different to adults. Luckily a lot of them had no major problems, we picked up some children who needed glasses to see the board and also some interesting pathology but mostly it was fun to see the school kids react to the mzungus- asking for pens or money or coca cola. The funniest though is when you take a picture and then show them the picture on your camera, it’s the funniest thing in the world to them.
Tired and sweaty after another long day

Ryan and Elaine hard at work seeing who needs cyclo 

A first year helping measure V.A for the first time

Waiting to be seen
Our office for the day

Everyone wants glasses

Again a HUGELY enjoyable and tiring day but it’s nice to be going out and meeting people and seeing that what we are doing is making a difference. It just reinforces my thinking that this was ultimately the right decision for me. Talking to one of the Canadians who was over for the week to help with the screening and he said “It must be an amazing experience to feel like you are making a difference” and these past few days, I have really felt like we are. 

Quote for the day: "Life is a game, play it; Life is a challenge, Meet it; Life is an opportunity, Capture it.~ Unknown "


  1. Hi,

    Please provide me the email id of webmaster of your website: http://frecklesahoy.blogspot.com/


  2. Fi, you are making such a huge difference, you're amazing :D