Occupational Therapy On ‘The Experience’

When you check the photo you can imagine Milli Jam and I were pretty happy to discuss occupational therapy with Paula Holthe, Frida Haavik and Jeanette Andersen (left to right above) on the latest edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient, our weekly Sunday night radio show on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station!

Paula, Frida and Jeanette are all third year occupational therapy students at the University of Tromso in northern Norway, currently in Zambia as volunteers attached to Response Network a non-profit based in Livingstone, set up to motivate villages to start and run self-help activities to improve their life situations. To this end the girls told listeners that during their visit to Zambia, which will last until early November, they would be spending four or five days per week in rural villages ‘helping people to self help’. They had already been in Livingstone for a week and had spent some time in a village during that week.

Somewhat surprised at this information, we asked the girls if they had enjoyed the ‘village experience’ and they said they had. They loved the Zambian people whom they described as being warm, hospitable and friendly. Laughing they described having seen a large black snake coming out of the toilet area in the village and being told that they could not go near the area for the rest of the night in case the snake was a Black Mamba – this forced them to relieve themselves ‘elsewhere’! “Welcome to Africa!” We said. They told us the children in the village were very scared of them and cried a lot when they first arrived, not being at all used to white faces!

The music on the show was good. We opened with tracks from Shane Filan and Olly Murs. Milli Jam chose tracks from Roberto, Afunika, Miguel and John Legend. Our oldie of the week was a Blink 182 track, ‘All The Small Things’ and I was surprised when a lucky listener guessed right and texted us the name of the performing band, winning himself a dinner for two at the lodge – a prize we give out each week on the show. My pick of the week was Jason Derulo’s ‘Marry Me’ and we closed with Kodaline’s ‘Brand New Day’.

The girls told listeners that they were all single and only Frida owned up to having a boyfriend back in Norway. This was their first visit to Africa. Milli Jam wanted to know their parents’ reaction when the girls first told them they would be spending months in Africa. Jeanette admitted that her mum had been quite scared but was now used to the situation, Paula said her parents had no worries as her sister had already spent a year in Tanzania without any problems. Frida revealed that her parents just said ‘we’re coming to visit you’ and so they were in October! I angled on air for the accommodation reservation!

The girls had not yet had time to do any of the tourist activities in Livingstone but were looking forward to seeing Victoria Falls and swimming in Devil’s Pool. Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing ten years from now, Jeanette said that she hoped to have a ‘100% job’ in occupational therapy helping youths, as well as a husband and a family. Frida’s ambitions were similar. Paula – about as unfarmer like girl as you’d ever hope to meet (more like a model opined Milli Jam) – hoped to have her masters degree in occupational therapy, to be married with a family and living on a small farm in the middle of Norway!

There you are then!