Eeeeeek - final week in PV! I can't believe it has come around so fast! The week started with an extra weekend day (which is always a bonus - esp. When you have been working most of the weekend to get everything done you said you would do before you leave!)
Today was a holiday because of the day of the dead festival is really today (2nd November) although the celebrations started with Halloween on Saturday! So I started this morning bright and early with my sunrise yoga and then instead of walking past the really nice beach front restaurant next door I opted to treat myself to brekkie - OMG I am so pleased I did - it was delicious, breakfast on a deck chair on the beach and a delicious fresh smoothie!! I got stuck in my deck chair for a few hours and then wandered around town and the markets for a few last purchases!! Then it was off to the CEMETERY to meet Lauren - weird I know but it's where they do a lot of the day of the dead celebrations. We ambled around the graves for a while as we were early - always feel awkward about where you walk in a cemetery and this was doubly awkward as we were the only tourists here - errrr I hope we're in the right place!!
But yup we were - we headed out of the other entrance to find the crowds gathering for the parade. There were lots of people in awesome outfits and face paint -they would put our fancy dress in the UK to shame!! We walked with the parade to town - with 7 or 8 local cowgirls and cowboys (part of the parade!) and lots of children and adults in fancy dress (no I wasn't dressed up - boring I know)! Once in town they decided to do a presentation (yawn) before the dancing - an hour and a half later the dancing started!! But it was awesome - again more great outfits and some pretty impressive traditional dances. We stood for as long as our legs and bladders could tolerate and then headed off for some grub!!
Tuesday Nadia came with me to one of the children's centres to help look through the the chairs that they already have and to discuss which need fixing and adjusting at the bodega. This was really helpful as I had been trying to get the chairs sorted there for weeks.
Tuesday evening at the bodega we had probably THE BEST clinic ever!! Mateo (the really cute boy who had been coming to see me for Physio) came with his family to collect his chair- it was not perfect straight away as he needed a chest harness on the chair that we had not thought he would need but Oscar was able to quickly root around in the bodega and fit one - Mateo loved his chair and he looked great. It gave him just the right amount of support and the table meant that he was interactive with his hands straight away - even his left which he rarely uses as it's often out of sight, out of mind! I was so happy and so was his family - hugs and photos all round!! The second patient was Antonio and his wife - who had come last week to see if we had anything to help them. I had cleaned both the recliner chair and wheelchair and he trialled both - they were fab and will allow him so much more comfort - previously when he needed to sleep in the day he would just slump forward in his chair as he had no head support and now he can use his recliner chair. It was so lovely to see him happy compared to last week when he had cried when his wife told us how quickly he had become ill and deteriorated. We were also able to give the family a wheel about commode that they can also use as a shower chair. More hugs and photos all round and then to fit it all in the back of the truck!!! Impressive! Great clinic to finish on - just showed how much we can do in Puerto Vallarta and how much people appreciate it.
Wednesday I was at the other children's centre - I had a busy but good morning - I got to work with a few cuties to do Physio and readjusted a couple of chairs. On Wednesday evening I had my last evening with the disabled athletes - loved seeing them again and can't wait to hear how they all get on in their next completion. One of the girls was trying to persuade me that she needs to come to England to train! After training I had a leaving meal with team Therapies Unite (minus Laura ) but plus Lauren - I had a lovely evening at a restaurant chosen by Nadia on the Malecon - thanks guys!!
Thursday was another hectic day - it started with my final dance therapy session then my final Halliwick session - where they threw me a party!! With balloons and cake - again thanks guys - I absolutely love the team at swimming and was so pleased to be able to join them for the past three months. After swimming I had my last visit to the orphanage so sad nearly packed Luceoiro into my bag! She was in such a good mood too which was lovely to end on and she really showed me how far she had come with the Physio. She now has more control of her limbs - especially her arms and she is able to selectively move her arm or hand to knock a toy over and she is interested in toys and will laugh appropriately at the stacking blocks being knocked over which is such a change from the little girl who had no interest in toys and would only engage in people/ faces. She now really enjoys tummy time and can prop herself up independently with her arms and doesn't need a towel to support her chest. I was so so pleased with her and the nannies as they too have worked hard with her and promise to continue the Physio plan I made them every day. Thursday evening clinic was more of a meeting to finalise things and go through all the new bodega equipment with Nadia and to say goodbye again. Whilst at the bodega I had a delivery of flowers, they were so beautiful and from Mateos grandmother to say thank you for all my kindness. (Direct Spanish translation 'God commanded angels to the earth to help children and you are one of them thank you for everything') nicest card I have ever been given!!
Friday was mad I nearly pulled all my hair out - the poster that should have been so easy was somehow in a random format so wouldn't print - ahhhhh! But three hours later and with lots of help from the man at office world I got it printed and it looks good. Really pleased as I think it will act as a good visual aid to prompt the nannies and physios and parents to the importance of good postural seating and will work well alongside the booklet that we recently completed. I also completed a number of Physio programmes for the to children and filled a folder for Nadia to help her. Then it was off to the children's centres to say my good byes - hugs and photos all round, it was so sad to say goodbye to the children but the centres were both so lovely to me:
At Plasitos the physios all said thank you and told me that they had learnt a lot from me and they gave me a really nice picture of me and child in a photo frame - so kind. Then at Project Pitiyal they gave me a lovely certificate with a picture of all the children and an angel figurine - because apparently I am an angel (sensing a theme here!)! Again so kind. In the evening I accompanied a child we had seen previously at the seating clinic to an appointment with the doctor to discuss the option of hip surgery as I felt this was key to improving his posture.
Good bye for now PV - it's been great!! Now time to pack pack pack!!!