A Day in the Life: Occupational Therapist Magdalena
Magdalena, our volunteer from Germany, describes a typical day here at NPH Bolivia.
September 6, 2018 - Bolivia
Hola, I am Magdalena, the occupational therapist in NPH Bolivia, and I arrived here in January 2018. This is what a normal day in the life of an occupational therapist at NPH Bolivia looks like:
I start my day with fresh fruits outside on the terrace of our house.
I go to work. In the morning, I prepare for afternoon sessions, document progress, and do several therapy sessions with some of the younger children. Miche* from the baby house is a sweet 3-year-old boy. When I arrive at his house to pick him up, he smiles and grabs my hand. During our walk back to the therapy room, we talk about nature. In January, when I arrived in Bolivia, he was insecure in his movements and was not strong. After six months of therapy, his fine and gross motor skills have improved, as well as his speaking. Today, we color a picture. Then, we work on an animal puzzle to improve his fine motor skills. He proudly tells me the names of the animals and sounds that they make. Afterwards, we work on his gross motor skills in the hammock and ball pit with some animal friends.
I walk to lunch with the child from my last therapy session. I remind the caregivers which children have appointments this afternoon. One boy smiles when he hears that it is his turn to go to therapy. We pray before we eat lunch. I sit at a table filled with children from different houses. I ask them how their day is going while we enjoy rice, meat, and some vegetables or fruits.
After lunch, I am in therapy sessions from 2:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. I try to help the children gain more independence by using different games, activities (trampoline, ball pit, hammock) and work sheets. We work on improving concentration, fine motor and gross motor skills. Most children like going to therapy; sometimes they even ask when their next session is. However, some of the older children don’t like therapy.
After my workday, I go to the volunteer house and talk with the others volunteers about their day.
Around 6:30 p.m., I visit my children´s house, and the children are happy to see me. I support the caregiver and also do activities with the kids. We eat dinner together, they brush their teeth, and then we play games (like UNO or Memory) or paint pictures. They are really proud of their pictures. My favorite part of the day: When we sit close together on one bed and read stories before everyone goes to their bed. I give each child a hug goodnight and then walk home to the volunteer house.
Back at the volunteer house, I chat with the other volunteers and then go to bed.
*Names changed for privacy purposes.