100 Days of Aural Rehab: Week #14 and 100 Days Completed

100 Days DONE

Pre-test Score:  60%

Final Test Score:  74%

I decided to write what I heard before I looked at the available set of closed words for each trial.  Some of them I got exactly right, others I was somewhat close, and the rest I was way off base!  Here are some examples.

What I heard are in parentheses.

1) peanut (at)

2) kick (tick)

3) two (till)

4) deep (bao)

5) K (bee)

6) niece (meash)

7) pie (all)

8) book (tock)

9) tale (tal)

10) dumb (da)

11) chew (feel)

12) soon (ja)

13) rose (wosh)

14) hit (besh)

15) back (back)

16) tart (tack)

17) tease (tease)

18) toast (mast)

1 Year of Being Bilateral

A year ago today, my 2nd CI was activated and I became bilateral!

I love being bilateral.

The sound quality is much better (richer, fuller, louder) and I can actually tell which side a sound is coming from time to time.  The sound direction is more than what I ever expected to gain from going bilateral.  I didn’t even know people could do that until I was around 15 years old and got a new pair of hearing aids.  Part of my aural rehab was to see if I could tell which side a sound was coming from.

I couldn’t do it…I just couldn’t….so I just assumed it wasn’t possible for me to ever be able to do that.

There are still times when both CIs don’t seem to work together.  One side will either pick up more than the other side or things will sound differently on one side compared to the other side.  Nothing like it was when I tried the CI + HA combo (did NOT like that at all).  It doesn’t bother me, it’s just more of weird/fascinating to see how the brain works in that sense.



Education Day and Parents’ Day

Yesterday was Education Day and Parents’ Day.  It was also the day that the school closed for the second term.

Parents arrived in the morning and took their seats while the kids sat separately from them.  Kids were able to go and say a quick hello to their parents since they hadn’t seen them since May.

Basically at any school related function there are 3 groups.  Kids, parents + teachers, and BOG (Board of Government) along with guests.  Women also sit separately from men in the parents section.

Kids are at the bottom, they get the cheapest food (rice, beans, black tea).  They have to sit in the worst location possible on uncomfortable chairs off to the side.  Teachers and parents get better food but it’s still not the best (rice, beef, soda) and they have to sit in the back.  BOG + guests get top treatment (chicken, potatoes, kale, uagli, watermelons, pineapples, bananas, sheep, goat).  They get a feast and delicious meals.  They’re also served by teachers and kids.  They’re given bottled water and soda.  They also get to sit in the front on comfortable couches.

I ended up having to help out with one of our guests who happened to be deaf.  She didn’t want to be left alone in a group of hearing people who didn’t know any sign language all day long.  It was a bit nervous-wrecking for me at first because that meant I was with all the important people and I’m not used to being told to sit next to one person all day long.  It turned out to be a great experience.  I had some good conversations with her and we exchanged contact information.  We’re hoping to stay in touch in the future.  It was great to actually experience some more of Kenya culture that I’ve only observed.  I learned what it means to entertain a guest by Kenya standards and I learned how delicious the food tastes when you’re VIP.  😉

Basically there were several speeches given by the guests after raising the flag.  The kids danced (which was great) and performed a poem.  The neighboring hearing primary school came to give a short performance.  We ended the day with awards.  The top 3 kids in each class got prizes (stuffed animals for Class I-infants/Class 0-nursery and notebooks + pens for Classes 1-8).  Teachers also got prizes for working well last year (I got mugs even though I didn’t work last year), best teacher in upper primary school, best teacher in lower primary school, best English teacher, etc.

Classes 7 and 8 were supposed to stay 2 more weeks for additional tuition since there’s a huge exam that Class 8 students have to take this fall for admission to secondary school.

Classes 7 and 8 did not want to stay at all and weren’t sure if they were staying or not.  Class 7 pretty much made a run for it and escaped with their parents.  Class 8 tried to escape but didn’t make it so they’re here for 2 more weeks!

We had our end of the term staff meeting today where we discussed how the event went and decided who would stay to teach the Class 8 kiddos.

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Picking Maize

Maize is basically corn and it’s a big deal here in my village.

We finished final exams last Thursday and the school didn’t officially close until Wednesday (yesterday).  The kids went to pick maize on Monday and Tuesday so I tagged along.  They showed me how and I had fun chatting with them.

Afterwards, one of the Class 7 girls wanted to cook me some maize.  This basically means they just stick ears of maize directly on coal.  This is also a common roadside items that people try to sell you when you’re on a matatu/bus along with beans, pineapple slices on a stick, and peanuts…..

Maize is also used in a dish called githeri which is what the kids eat for lunch practically everyday with ugali!

I let a Class 4 girl, Class 7 girl, and Class 8 boy take pictures over a period of 2 days.  I think they had fun taking pictures…I ended up with about 350 pictures of them out in the maize fields!  🙂


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100 Days of Aural Rehab: Week #13

I started out doing really well on this week’s aural rehab test when I heard the horrible sound of….

….the blue screen of death!

I was only 3 words away from being done and was convinced I was well in the 80% range.

After rebooting I was so annoyed that I almost didn’t retake the test but I decided to  just do it again and get it over with.

There were a couple of times when the girls in the dorms got a bit noisy which threw me off when I had to choose between words like “pool” and “tool” and I couldn’t even hear the first part of the word over the noise.

I managed to squeak by with a 80%.  Now to work on improving with background noise rather than waiting it out most of the time for them to settle down before they get noisy again.  Background noise is a more realistic everyday experience but I do struggle greatly with it.  I have been known to get 45-50% when constant background noise is a factor…..