Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Girl From the Sbitar

June 10, 2008
So I went on my first vaccination drive today and it was... interesting.
There's an association in Tiznit that does vaccination drives in various towns in the province and today was my site's day.
The sbitars are far away and a lot of people don't have access for various reasons, so this association has a bus that they use as a mobile health center. They coordinate with people in outlying douars to let them know the dates of the drives. Usually they show up and there's a crowd all day long.
My counterpart told me to do a health lesson and I was not prepared at all!
I told him maybe next time. For now, a lot of what I do involves observation and learning about how things work in the sbitar and my town. So I watched a girl from the association give health lessons on topics that I'll cover later. She talked to the women about family planning all day , while the sbitar staff did examinations and the kids got vaccinations. It was a great chance to learn about conducting health lessons with the women here, and how to go about it. And I made some helpful contacts.
For now, I'm content to be observing most of the time. I go to the sbitar on vaccination days, when there are a lot of women bringing in their kids, to watch and learn. I explain to people what I do, and that my job for now is to learn Tash and learn about my site.


The other day I was walking home from work and passed a group of girls who were on their way to school. I greeted them in Tashelheet and they returned my greeting. Then one of them said she'd seen me at the sbitar the other day.

I told her I work there and a little bit about what I do. I said that later I'll do health education and talk about health to kids and women. They seemed to think that was a good idea. I said that the next year I'd come to their school, perhaps, and teach. They really liked that idea!

We parted ways further down the path and it occurred to me that people were beginning to recognize me not just because I'm the foreign girl learning Tashelheet. I'm the girl who works at the sbitar.

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