Sunday, January 3, 2010

5 months later: reflections

It has been five months since I was in Johannesburg, working with my assistant, Michael Tartaglia, to assess 15 Sowetan children's psychoeducational functioning. The demands of my academic position here at home pushed it all to the margins (how apt), leaving my little time and psychic energy to follow-up and reflect. It is long overdue.

When I arrived at Cotlands at the end of last July, I was greeted by Busi Nkosi warmly and she let me know that she would shepherd us while we were there, even though her job had changed and she was no longer manager of community outreach. The new psychosocial manager, Boitumelo Seabi, was not involved with us during our stay, but she is now my new contact and we are in touch already about next year. I believe that Boitumela, Faith Madiehe (the social worker), and Meissie Zobane (the outreach nurse) created the list of children they wished us to assess. More on that later.

It has been difficult to write about this experience; the intensity of our work with barely a break quickly sank in the mire of massive demands on my time and energy that hit me the moment I returned home. Little was processed and there were still reports to write. Writing my reflections here would be a way to finally make the transition in a healthy way; yet, once I again I am buried under work which must be prioritized.

So, I must pause for now. I'll leave with a photo of some kids in the neighborhood of one of our clients.