Today we had an excursion to the ‘Museum National of Archaeology and History of Moldova’. Before we left we primed the group with some videos about the history and culture of Moldova, which were fascinating and very useful for me as a tourist! We got the museum guide to condense the tour a bit for our group and from what I observed she did a great job of holding the attention of most of the young adults. I took a bit of a ‘group photographer’ role as the centre doesn’t have it’s own camera any more and they value having lots of photos of the service users engaged in activity to show their funding organisation. I also enjoy viewing the exhibits as each item had a caption in English, as well as Russian and Romanian. The museum was full of interesting artefacts from several thousand years B.C. to the new recent Declaration of Independence in 1991. The museum was very well presented and laid out, but had similar issues with lighting to the art gallery. The bright fluorescent tube lights detracting from the exhibits.
I spent a lot of the visit questioning excursions like this from an occupational therapy standpoint. There are always going to be limitations with group activities, wherein some participants will find it more meaningful than others. This was certainly evident in our group, although all of them remained engaged at their own level. I questioned if the activity could be used in a way that would develop more skills for each person. Certainly some would have been capable of requesting their own entry ticket but that type of activity is not encouraged by the centre. Limitations of technology equipment at the centre means that it wouldn’t be possible to get the group members to take some photos of their own and produce an item of work at the end. So, yes, basically I had no ideas. I also get a bit ‘stuck’ with the boundaries/overlap between education and occupation. To me education isn’t always a meaningful occupation, but it is very much an expectation of the centre that each young adult receives an education. I suppose there are parallels in other situations, a person may not enjoy their job but the importance of it to provide income and other benefits make it meaningful. In this case I have to wonder at the purpose of engaging the group in education when they are so protected from situations where they might apply learned skills to increase their independence. Hmm. Lots to think about!
I’ve just been going through my photos of the past two days. Already I feel such fondness for every member of the group – they are such a friendly, vibrant and interesting group of people to work with. I know I’m going to miss them when I return to the UK.
What else? Another Romanian lesson… I really must study tonight as my list of vocabulary is now extending beyond what my visual memory can capture. I also made it to the gym again, the staff now know that I speak English and are all desperate to try out their English phrases. My departure seems to take forever with all the salutations being delivered! I feel a bit guilty though, the gym is entirely Russian-speaking and so my developing Romanian language skills are of no use there.