Friday, September 19, 2014

Better late then never...right?

What do I remember from my first day? Well considering that I am now starting to develop memory issues, much like the people that I accompanied, that first day is coming out all fuzzy in my head but I will  do my best to give you all the low down. Much like anything else new, I was nervous to be doing my first ever "for reals" adult internship. What was  it going to be like? Was I going to make friends easily? Would I even understand everything everyone was saying in French? Whewww! So many questions were running through my head, but thankfully the end results were much less frightening than my mind had made them out to be. Yes the day was tiring and a tad stressful, but mostly it was exciting! It was something new, full of new opportunities, new people to meet, new friendships to make, and many many new things to learn. One of those new things was learning how to manipulate a wheelchair in different scenarios and boy was it trickier than I was expecting!

Some of the other interns as well as two employees from the office. Left to Right: Jesus, Lily, Dee, Malgo, and Michael
Part of working with the elderly involves the know how of manipulating a wheelchair and doing it in a safe way as to avoid any potential injuries. Though there were three other BYU students there doing the same internship as me, two of them were in another group working specifically with alzheimers patients and the fourth had not yet arrived due to an unfortunate series of travel mishaps. There I was in a room of people I had barely just met, practicing how to get someone in and out of a wheelchair using vocabulary I had never ever heard before in my life. I tried to be a good sport and just follow along, picking up the occasional useful verb like "reculer" which means to move or push backwards, very useful in helping someone in a wheelchair to adjust and sit up straight to avoid the dreaded slouch. I had never before sat in a wheelchair and the experience of being pushed around in it and manipulated to sit a certain way or going up and down a ramp gave me a very different perspective of what other people experience. It was a tiring, but an excellent training. 
A selfie from one of my first nights in Paris at a cafe with other interns, I was thrilled to just be there!


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