Tuesday, July 9, 2019

learning to be an advocate

Three weeks into our furlough. What have we been doing?  We have been eating salads and junk! Last week I went to the grocery store and came back with 4 different types of ice cream! The prices and variety just appealed to me too much!

Kelsey, Yalitza, and Elizanie

Things continue in Belize.

A post that I'd been wanting to write about for a while has been the gradual increase of medical involvement with our community.  It started as needs popped up.  It had an exponential increase as we took people to Kids Konnect, and has propagated by having 3 pregnant Deaf women.
at the hospital waiting to be seen

Nathanael's roll in the US was as an interpreter. He has years of experience in doctor's offices, hospitals, and in the community. He has taught me a lot about allowing the Deaf in our community to become their own advocates. It is unquestionably a process on both ends (mine and theirs).  The Deaf in our community often have people tell them what to do.  We are actively attempting to educate while allowing them to step in and be a part of their care.

Nathanael interprets in an appointment

One way that I am doing this is with the pregnant women.  I attended medical appointments. Nathanael interpreted, I encouraged the women to ask questions.
our last day (June 9) of church

In this process, Nathanael and I recognized the gap in the area understanding labor and breastfeeding.  I put together a short class, including YouTube videos and pictures.  I taught exercises to aide in preparing the body for labor, stages of labor, and about breastfeeding. Nathanael interpreted.  He had 2 Deaf women share their labor stories.

the class setup

We ate lunch together after the class.  I was able to give all 3 a stretch band to take with; hopefully incentive to continue the exercises at home.
Lunch was yummy, Anna joined us

The matriculation (and arguably most anticipated part) of this story is that Elizanie had her baby on July 2.  It is exciting to see her. We are bereaved that we were unable to be in Orange Walk to interpret during her labor.

Please be praying for Brieany as she had to go back into the hospital due to jaundice, as well as healing/health for Elizanie.

Kelsey and Yalitza will also (most likely) give birth to their children before we return. What prodigious time to be a part of Jesus Deaf Church!

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