Sunday, October 9, 2011

Training at Al-Hussien Society- Amman

Play day ended and the work of the trip immediately began.  Al Hussein Society was our work destination for the next 4 days.  It is a rehab society focus on pediatrics.  I was truly impressed with their vision, goals, and programs.  One half of the building was for the therapy work and the other half of the building was their school for children with needs.  They had their own wheelchair shop and technicians for modifying chairs to the specialized needs of the children.  A almost ideal partner to participate in the program LDS charities created to distribute wheelchairs. 
This first day was dedicated to setting up our training room, meeting with the translators and having some definitions translated.  Basically the behind the scenes day always necessary.  I was very impressed with how prepared and thoughtful the humanitarian couples were in having everything we could possibly want ready and waiting for us.  But I was once again a bit disappointed in our lunch options.  I don't eat American fast food in America and I really wanted to try Jordanian food...  But Popeye's it was. 

At the end of this day Clay had a great idea. He saw an indoor climbing gym in Amman and suggested we take a break from the couples and work out some of our jet lag on the wall. We offered to take a taxi but Brother Lee was insistent he be our chauffeur. Eventually we realized he was just as anxious to be away from others and choose different meal options as we were. We had a great time- it was a beautiful gym facing west toward the sunset. And the owner wasn't so bad to look at either... =) He gave us great dinner options and even gave me his phone number in case we needed anything. Man I wish I had a picture of him. But I do have a picture of his gym.  If Clay and I get to have a follow-up trip I do think we might need to visit here again.  Just look at that sunset!

Perhaps not the best picture of Clay... But is was the only picture I had of the climbing wall.

I swear he didn't even twitch for an hour.  I think if he isn't moving then he is sleeping.  But we loved Brother Lee's willingness to serve.

Falafel- at the recommendation of the good-looking Jordanian gym owner...  It was amazing!

And the ice cream shop next door- that was perhaps the best ice cream I ever had.  It is amazing what a little freedom, exercise and good food can do for the soul.  I was ready for whatever the next day had to bring.  I was nervous I hadn't prepared well enough-but that is my typical fears.  Everything went really well over the course of the next 3 days of training.  I will credit most of that to the answering of a sincere prayer for higher help.

The next morning started with a sunrise view of the city...  There are a lot of people in Amman.  Everything is built out of stone because there is little to no timber to use.

Clay taught me the key to success is to connect immediately with your audience.  Even before the official training began we talked to the class participants and got to know them a little.

This is the opening ceremony where the officials discuss the importance of the training- I liked the picture because it was a good visual of the classroom.  We wanted all the participants in wheelchairs so they had experience in them- especially with ones that do not fit well.  In the beginning it was difficult to get everyone in a wheelchair- but by the end, we couldn't get them out of them.

There were so many pictures to choose from on our training.  Most importantly with the lecture there was a lot of hands on.  Practice assessing each other, assembly of the wheelchairs right out of the box, and practice in using the wheelchairs themselves. And of course the most important is their assessing and fitting real wheelchair users that are in need of a wheelchair.  Unfortunately blogger is complaining about all the pictures I am wanting to add.  Maybe I can add some more later- but this gives you a feel for the training.

The women in this picture that I am talking to is the Princess of Jordan.  She is a classy lady and cut through all the political hub bub and focused right on what was important.  Easy to talk to and very engaging.  I must admit, I was impressed by her. 

The whole gang- my new friends in Amman Jordan

We were shepherded immediately to Irbid after the 3rd day of training and had to leave our 5 star hotel, gourmet breakfasts and new friends behind.  A whole new chapter began.

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