Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Ethics Olympics

I realized today that, while I think I've been pretty good about updating my blog regularly (so far I've met my goal of posting once a week!) a lot has happened that you don't know about yet!  I don't want to put it all in one long post, so you lucky blog readers are about to get bombarded with several posts in a short period of time.  It's like Christmas in October, right?  You KNOW that blog posts from me are better than the pumpkin spice lattes that all you lucky Americans are enjoying.

Anyway, last Wednesday the Overstrand Care Centre had a special treat.  We got to go to ethics training!  You don't think that sounds exciting?  Well, you're wrong.  I really enjoyed our training day!  Here's why:
1.  All eight carers who work inside the centre, all of our home-based carers, our admin team, and Martin and I all went together.  That means I actually got to see everyone in one place all at one time.
2.  We were encouraged to wear spring colors (remember it's spring in the Southern Hemisphere), which means everyone got to wear their real clothes instead of navy blue and white uniforms.
3.  The training took place in Stanford, which is about 30k down the road to the East of Hawston, past Hermanus.  It was a little like a field trip!
4.  The home based carers from the entire Overberg area, stretching from Kleinmond to Gansbaii (yes, Gansbaii... that's where the great white sharks are, for anyone who is not a Shark Week buff), were all gathered together, so I got to meet lots of new people!
5.  Instead of lecturing to everyone about ethics for 8 hours, we broke into groups and played games that were intended to teach us ethics-related skills.  Thus, I have dubbed this day 'The Ethics Olympics'.

Early in the morning, we all arrived at the care centre to board our transport van for the ride over to Stanford.  Since I live 10 steps away, all I had to do was roll out of bed, make my coffee, and hop on the van.  Lucky me!  Notice how nice everyone looks.  It was really fun seeing people wear something besides their normal work uniforms.  They were a colorful group!  Notice I said 'they' and not 'we'.  Since I had just rolled out of bed, I looked about the same as usual, and you might notice that I am strategically absent from all the photos.

As we arrived in Stanford, we met up with all the home based carers and their management teams from all the other areas around the Overberg region.  Everyone (except me) knows each other, so it was a happy reunion.  Our hosts in Stanford had decorated, so the day had a real carnival feel to it.

Old colleagues catch up in the reception hall.  We're a pretty big group when we're all together.

The Hawston care centre group poses for a picture.

Soon it was time for the games to begin.  We were divided into seven teams, and each team was challenged to move through the seven stations.  At each station, we had 10 minutes to complete a task and answer a question about the ethical principle that was being taught.  If we were successful, we got a balloon with a clue inside it.  Once we had been to all seven stations, we had to use all the clues to put together the secret message (about ethics).  I don't have any pictures of us doing the stations.  Why not?  Because I was too busy trying to solve the puzzles with my teammates!  Ten minutes doesn't leave a lot of time for photo ops!

Side note:  Notice that 'Time Management' is spelled wrong.  My guess is whoever painted that was rushing to finish.

After we completed all the stations, (my team got all seven balloons, by the way.  AND we successfully decoded our secret message, which turned out to be the definition of ethics) we were tasked with putting on a skit to illustrate three of the ethical principles we had learned about.  Here is one of the teams demonstrating the right way to greet a patient.

Martin explains the ethical principles his team is going to demonstrate.

Here's one thing I've learned about South Africa:  If you ask a group of South Africans to do any sort of public speaking, at least some of them are going to opt to turn the speaking into singing and dancing.  It's a joyful culture, and it's one of my favorite things about the people here.  Nasier, the only guy on the stage in this photo, was REALLY into the song.  This was my favorite group skit.

Another group also decided to sing their skit, and they had everyone else join in too!

So yes, the Ethics Olympics were a lot of fun, and I think that everyone learned something.  I'm so glad I got to participate!  

Oh!  I almost forgot to mention the REAL reason why the Ethics Olypics were so awesome:  they came with LUNCH!!

You better believe I ate everything on that plate.  It's unethical to leave food behind, right?

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