A Snapshot of My Fun and Sunny Week!

It's been a relatively cold winter having to wear lots of layers every day. This past week we had a week full of beautiful blue skies and hot weather just in time for Chinese New Year (CNY)! On Sunday evening to mark Chinese New Years Eve we let off some fireworks at the ICC Centre as a fun show for the kids. They all gathered on the balconies by their bedrooms in each of their homes and watched as they went off. That evening and night, all across the city and country people let off fireworks and bangers so we had to sleep with ear plugs to get some sleep!

After a very busy last week and weekend, and a night of waking up a lot, I took the morning off to catch up on sleep and to rest. In the afternoon I went out to the community group homes to wish them a Happy New Year {新年快乐 /Xīnnián kuàilè}. We took new family photos of the kids there with their caregivers. There are 8 boys in the boys home and 8 girls in the girls home and each home has 3 caregivers who were all there for the photo. We will print the photos out and put them up in their living rooms, just as any family does! We then had a big dinner with them to celebrate the New Year! 

 In the evening I took the boys out to the river to watch the fireworks!

We had beautiful blue skies and warm sunshine! It was the perfect opportunity to take the kids at the centre outside to play. As it was the week of CNY, there was no therapy or classes. In the morning I helped one of the caregivers skype a boy who was adopted in September and his family. She had cared for him as long as he was in ICC's care and missed him a lot, and the family was happy to do the call! It went really well and the caregiver was so happy to see how much the boy had grown. In the morning I took one of the boys out to clean out the fish pond, which had gotten disgusting! 

In the afternoon we took a few of the boys who use wheelchairs out to the playground, using a wheelchair myself! The boys found it so exciting to see Luke and I in spare wheelchairs and it certainly showed us which areas of the building and playground are easy and difficult to maneuver around!  We played in the 'musical garden', checked out the fish and went on the wheelchair swing! These boys all have Cerebral Palsy, a condition that affects muscle movement and motor skills, so these boys four limbs are affected. It's important to encourage them to be as independent as possible, so we try to get them to wheel themselves as much as possible!

In the morning Luke (my house mate who is an Occupational Therapist) and I took two of the younger boys to one of the sensory rooms. I was mostly with one of the younger boys who has Down Syndrome and tried to get him to crawl across the room and we played with some of the sensory toys. Later in the morning we brought the boys back out to the playground but gave their caregiver a spare wheelchair to use. We wanted her to experience what the children in her care do every day. It was really fun! She found it really tiring but the kids loved it and found it so funny!!

In the afternoon I had to finish off the sponsorship update photos with just a few kids left out of the 160 kids in ICC's care in Hengyang! It was a big job but enjoyable too! One of the boys came with me to take the few baby photos that were left to do and he loved getting to see the younger kids that he wouldn't normally have time for being in class and therapy.

In the morning I helped some of the older boys, from the woodwork class I help with, put together some wooden benches. It was really just screwing the legs and making them stable but the boys had fun doing it! It was a great opportunity to put what they had been practicing into real life. 

Over lunchtime Anna, Luke and I took one of the older more independent boys out for lunch to a local restaurant to treat him for CNY! In the afternoon Luke ran a therapy session for three of the boys mentioned above who have CP. It was great being able to help through translating and working with them one-on-one. We did fine motor activities first using hands such as pegs and cups, jigsaws and shaving foam! We then moved onto more gross motor activities with a sort of obstacle course, pulling themselves on a wheel board, then pulling themselves onto a bench and crawling across before finally crawling through a tunnel. The boys did so well and though needing lots of encouragment were very determined to do it themselves. They were certainly all tired by the end of it! It was great session to sit in on before I study Occupational Therapy from September, and makes me excited and sure this is the right path to be taking.

I spent the full day at the Community Group Homes, mostly taken up with helping them wash their own wheelchairs. Two of the girls use wheelchairs and four of the boys do. It was a nice hot day so perfect for this as they dried quickly too! In the afternoon we played with lego. I was certainly tired after a busy week! 

It was a brilliant week, more relaxed than usual but full of fun activities and sunshine, which makes everything here much easier! It was a much needed break from the cold!