Making preparations for a long trip

Dr. Lynda Wilson

I finmwafricaished my grading and submitted grades today for the summer courses I taught at UAB, and am now finalizing my packing for the journey tomorrow to Blantyre, Malawi where I will be spending three weeks as a Fulbright Senior Specialist at the University of Malawi Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN) (http://www.kcn.unima.mw). The focus of my visit will be to assist with implementation of the new PhD program in the KCN. The project will involve teaching seminars in the quantitative research methods course, offering seminars for faculty on research mentoring, and conducting individual meetings with doctoral students to discuss their research plans. The project will also involve identification of potential areas for collaboration between the World Health Organization Nursing and Midwifery Collaborating Centers at KCN and UAB. The PhD program is a blended distance-accessible program, and the students will be on campus during the time of my visit. I will teach seminars on quantitative research and work with the KCN faculty to develop the modules for this course that the students will complete online after they leave the KCN campus at the end of August 2014.

malawiThe KCN was designated 2 years ago as a World Health Organization(WHO) Collaborating Center focused on interprofessional education and collaboration (which is also the focus of the new PhD program). I am also looking forward to exploring ways that our Pan American Health Organization/WHO Collaborating Center can partner with KCN in the future. My friend and faculty colleague, Dr. Deb Walker, will also be going to KCN tomorrow and will be spending three weeks as a Fulbright Senior Specialist (her second visit) on the Lilongwe campus, about a four hour drive from where I will be.

wilsondenGetting ready for this trip has involved many things, including a visit to the UAB travel clinic (updating my typhoid and yellow fever vaccinations, getting a prescription for mefloquine, which I started to take 3 weeks ago as an anti-malarial prophylaxis. I also splurged and bought a shirt and socks and hiking pants all treated with pyrethrin, to prevent mosquito bites (and malaria and other nasty things that mosquitos might carry!). Other preparations have involved Skype calls and emails with colleagues at KCN in order to plan the course that I will be teaching. I have prepared all of the course modules and our wonderful Instructional Design team at UAB (thanks Matt Jenkins) has copied all of the materials on to CDs which I will give to each student. I have also been fortunate that many of our faculty have donated copies of the textbook that students will use so I am loaded down with 8 Polit & Beck 2012 (http://www.amazon.com/Nursing-Research-Generating-Assessing-Evidence/dp/1605477087) nursing research textbooks to bring along! (One of them is peeking out of my suitcase in the photo).

I’ll send some more photos of Deb and I at the airport tomorrow…it is a long journey to Malawi..we leave Birmingham at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow, fly to Atlanta, and then take the 14 hour flight to Johannesburg, South Africa. We will spend the night at a hotel near the airport, and then on Sunday Deb will fly to Lilongwe, and I’ll fly on to Blantyre. (see the maps of Malawi for where we will be) I will arrive in Blantyre at 3 pm Sunday and be ready to start work on Monday morning! I will be staying at the Leslie Lodge (http://www.leslielodge.com/). I am very fortunate that the Fulbright Senior Specialist program(http://www.cies.org/program/fulbright-specialist-program) is funding my visit, and my lodging and meals will be supported by the Accordia Global Health Foundation (http://www.accordiafoundation.org/). I’ll write more next week once I settle in Blantyre!

 

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