Thursday, January 3, 2008

Finally home

So, I've finally managed to get back home from Africa and have time to blog too. It has been an incredible three months living in Swaziland and experiencing life in a totally different kind of culture. Everything went fine, I didn't get homesick even once and somehow I even avoided having a culture shock. Well, returning back to Finland was a bit of a shock with busses leaving on schedule, everything being so quiet and men not asking you to marry them all the time... ;) But, all and all everything went really great and things were even better there than what I had expected.

We did our practical training at five different dental clinics, one preschool, a few orphanages and a maternity ward. We were a bit surprised to see that the equipments and procedures were quite the same at the dental clinics as what we have in Finland. Three of the clinics were private and so only rich people could afford the treatment there. Coz we spent most of the time at those clinics we didn't quite get to see the real picture of the oral health in the country. As Swaziland has the highest HIV rate in the world, 40 %, it also affects the oral health situation but we didn't manage to see that. Other than that our training went fine, the people were really nice and we also got to assist dentists and treat patients by ourselves.

We also got to watch deliveries at the maternity ward in the Government Hospital. Well, the midwives would have made us assist the deliveries as well but with no education for that we chose not to do it. The ward and the delivery room were really ascetic and the midwives seemed to be more interested in chatting with each others than assisting deliveries. So, the women in labour had to climb up to the delivery table by themselves, help the midwife in cleaning themselves after giving birth and also to walk and carry all their stuff to another ward just a short time after the delivery. I had never seen a baby been born before so I wasn't sure how I'd survive seeing the first one but it went quite fine as I didn't pass out or anything.. ;) We saw three babies being born and all the babies were fine and had thick black hair.

We worked at a preschool in a slum area for one week. It was a bit of a shock at first as there were more than 70 kids aged 3-6 years in the same small class room. The two teachers tried to get some order into the room by yelling and whipping the kids with a stick but the kids didn't mind that much. Luckily, it wasn't that bad later during the week as the kids got used to us and could focus better on the teaching. However, the teacher still used the stick every day. The kids learned mainly English, math, singing and traditional dances. After studying in the class room for a few hours in the morning the kids got to go to the playground to eat their lunch and play. That was when we got to play with them and I have to say they were the cutest kids ever! They all wanted to sit on our laps and when we took out our cameras they all wanted to be in the pictures and to see how they looked like in the them. Oh my, I just couldn't help crying when we had to leave them on the last day.. We also checked the teeth of some of the kids and more than half of them had bad teeth with lots of caries. It was because of their high sugar consumption and lack of brushing and it was awful to see. We gave them some instructions about healthy mouth and eating to take home with them so hopefully it'll help them even a little.

We also got invited to a traditional Swazi wedding. Well, it wasn't a real wedding as the couple had been married for a long time, but they were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary with a traditional wedding ceremony. It was really exciting and we got to dress the traditional Swazi way too. The relatives and friends of the wedding couple as well as the bride and groom were all dressed traditionally and they were dancing and singing while the guests were watching it. At some point, all the married women who were dancing, took off their scarfs and continued the dance with bare breasts. It's normal in the Swazi tradition and so the only people being a bit surprised were us... :) After the dancing finished four hours later we got to eat. In the same morning the family had slaughtered three cows that had been cooked for the guests and it was delicious. However, I was glad they didn't serve the traditional meal of cow's gizzard.. After we had eaten it was already almost dark and we had to hurry to get home before it was all dark.

Oh, I've still got so many things that I'd like to show, like the pics from our trip to Capetown, but to save you and me I won't show more this time. I took so many pictures and videos that I have two DVDs full of them so I probably won't run out of scrapping material for a few years.. ;)


In the scrapping front, I have some new stuff at Scraphead. I thought I'd have loads of time to scrap and design in Africa in the evenings after it gets dark but actually I didn't manage to scrap even one layout not to mension to design. And I did't even miss scrapping. But now, that I've come home, it's been really nice to be able to design again and I managed to put together a kit even though it was all but easy. I got inspired by a gift paper and had I been designing this kit before Christmas it would have been a Christmas kit. Instead, I made it into a red and white winter kit and put the Christmas themed stuff I made into an add-on.

You can get Winter Glam here at Scraphead.

I really love the papers in this kit. They are full of glitter and glam and will look great on winter or Christmas themed layouts.

I also made a coordinating alpha for the kit and it's available at Scraphead as a freebie for the next week so be sure to get it.

And finally, here's the Xmas add-on freebie for the Winter Glam kit. I know it's a bit late for Chrismas stuff now but hopefully there's still some of you who haven't scrapped all your Christmas photos.

Sorry, the link is gone.

Okay, I think this has got to be the longest post I've ever posted and probably the longest I ever will.. ;) That's why I'll show you the rest of my new stuff next time as well as some more pictures from Africa. So, see you! I promise the next post won't be this long.. ;)

15 kommenttia:

Love the new kit Minna and I love the freebie! THANKS. Your rip seems so amazing. Wow. Keep showing us lots of pics!!!

Sounds like you had a wonderful time!!!!
TY so very much for this FAB addon!!!!!!

Thanks so much for the add-on kit!! Your pictures are amazing! Thanks for sharing them!

Wonderful new kit - and thank you very much for this add-on. I have not finished scrappin my Christmas photo's so I can use this! Thanks again!

Thank you! The DigiFree freebie search engine is going to list this blog post today.

Minna, We lived in Swaziland for 4 years and loved the people!! So glad you got to experience Swazi culture, see the beauty of the land - but most of all to mee the people!

Thank you for your lovely xmas add on and thank you for sharing your adventures in Swaziland, so very interesting to read, sounds like you had a marvellous time! :)
Have a Great New Year!

Thanks for the great freebie. And I am so proud to let you know that I am also a Dental Hygienist!! Welcome to the profession! What an awesome adventure you just had. I left you some love on the download with a reminder to floss daily! Heehee

Thanks again!

Thanks so much for the freebie and for sharing so much of your trip with us! I've loved seeing the pictures and reading about it-Sandy in Colorado

sogood to see you made itback and didn't marry the swazi king! or get eaten by a lion...debating which would be worse. pphotos are amazing thanks for sharing.

I am also a dental hygienist and I loved reading about your trip. Thanks for sharing!!

Welcome back!! :) Great to see that you had a fantastic time and took lots of photos to scrap to. It's fantastic to know all you tell about the place and nice to hear that you got to experience the traditional culture as well. I guess the most shocking experience might have been the cold weather back home LOL

The add-on is wonderful, many thanks for sharing it. :)

Happy New Year and best wishes. :O)

Tervetuloa takaisin!!
Mieheni on Nigeriasta, mutta en ole vielä päässyt käymään siellä. Odotan innolla että pääsisin tutustumaan hänen sukulaisiin ja ystäviin.

Kiitos mahtavasta Joulu-kitistä.


Thank you for this lovely kit.

I missed all christmasscrapping, glad now, so I can use this little sunshiny extra. The whole kit is beautiful, thank you very much for the freebie

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