I wanted to take a minute and tell you all about presenting at a Middle School career day last month. My little cousins (and MedPLUS Connect's youngest donors!) asked me to come in and speak at their Career Day at St. Joseph's. Their smiling faces, eager questions . . . how could I say no? We work regularly with officials in the Ministry of Health and local government, so I didn't think public speaking jitters would be a problem. But as soon as I found out I would be presenting to 5th and 8th graders, I started to feel a little nervous. And by a little nervous I mean practicing-my-presentation-out-loud-nervous. I wasn't sure what I should focus on, how much I should explain about Ghana, or what would keep the students interested and engaged in what I was telling or showing them.
In the end, I decided to focus on photos, video, and my own personal accounts from Ghana and the past year to explain what exactly MedPLUS works to accomplish. One of the first things I told the group was that if we had time at the end, they should ask me about some interesting and funny things I sat next to in bus. I was worried that they would just look at me like, uh, lady, why do I care about your bus seat? But, fortunately, that got a lot of "oohs" and "ahhs."
Below are some photos of me showing the class some fabric from Ghana - and attempting to demonstrate how it can be used to hold a baby on your back!
It was pretty amazing to hear the questions kids came up with. The students were curious, inquisitive, caring, and genuinely interested in learning about life in a developing country. When shown pictures of a pediatric ward in a northern Ghana hospital, they were visibly shocked at how different it was from their own doctors’ offices. Students asked questions about everything – from asking if our nutrition center would provide vitamins for kids like them, to asking if I ever got to play soccer with kids in Ghana, and if they had any cool moves! And of course about ten hands went up at the same time to ask the same question: what did you sit next to on the bus for 14 hours?!
We had a guinea fowl, I told them. Oh, and on the other side of us was a refrigerator.