Tuesday, October 16, 2012

If You are Near Toronto.. Eat!

A small advertisement for "my" group that has provided me with support for going to Mercy Hospital for many years.
If you are near, go and eat something...   John

Friday, July 6, 2012

Never yet a TEN – perhaps in 2013!

I have decided that I will not return to Mercy Hospital in September.  It would have been the 10th time and the closest that I would ever have gotten to be a “10” in anything.     As usual Continuity and Change will be in play; the same and different…

 I have the same desire to return to Mercy and Guyana.  I enjoy my time there and feel that I make a difference, at least in the lives of the students.  It was a hard decision to make, but there are far more complicating factors for me this September. 

First, and I never thought that I’d say this, but the odd part of the “Odd Couple”, Tony, was not able to go this year.   I realized how intertwined we had become over the last two years; we each had our areas of expertise and it worked.   (Now I wish that I had listened to him drone on about cranial nerves .....   Kidding aside, we worked hard and shared the tasks; I am not sure that I want to, or could, do both.  

Second, I was participating with Taju Olaleye who is the lead applicant in our Rising Stars Canada grant; however, they have delayed the announcement date till the end of July.  We were counting on the grant [ah yes, optimists]  to provide the dollars for the individual netbooks for the students.   If I went to Mercy in September, I would have to begin hitting up my “friends” for a second year in a row… and I have not done that previously.  It is not that they aren’t good friends; it is that there are so many “good causes” out there asking for their dollars.   I had received a few good quotes from China on netbooks and tablets and then I started figuring out dates, fundraising, purchasing, shipping, etc….. Ugh!    So I would need to raise about $5,200 for 24 netbooks.   That means 24 wonderful friends give me $220 or if I had 5,200 friends it would be just a buck each.    This made me forget that my fourth grade teacher, Sister Mary Something, said “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly”, and revert to my need to do it well ..... and at this point, I don’t think that I can do the course well.  

Breaking  - or rather “Heartbreaking” *  news… We were not successful with the grant application…   “I regret” letter below”

Dear Mr. Olaleye Prince

RE: Application 149

Thank you for submitting your proposal A Revolutionary Approach for Guyana Nursing Education to Grand Challenges Canada’s Request for Proposals: Rising Stars in Global HealthRound 1. A peer review was led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Many high-quality submissions were received and the selection process was very competitive. I regret to inform you that your proposal has not been selected for funding.

We would like to thank you for your time and effort in preparing your proposal, and hope that you will consider participating in future Grand Challenges Canada funding opportunities.

 * So next year will be also “wallet breaking”, as I will beg for contributions/donations for the students’ netbooks… 

 Third, as many of you know, we are moving back to Ontario; we have bought a nice little home in Ayr, near Kitchener and take possession on August 3rd.   Now by itself, that would be great; however, we have not sold our home in Nova Scotia.   The housing market here is dreadful, especially thanks to the selfishness of our provincial government who cancelled the US ferry and really abandoned the whole of SW Nova Scotia as there are  few votes for them here.   Anyhow, this unknown has many stressors, including the fact that we have had to get back into the mortgage business.      It doesn’t seem that it will get anywhere near resolved before September.

Fourth, if you read my blog, you know that there are the usual continuing frustrations with doing any business in Guyana.  Now don’t get me wrong -- Mercy, and especially CEO Helen, go out of their way to make my stay the best, but it is always uphill.   One of the IT people who was looking after our students netbook problems no longer works at Mercy and some of the older Café Computers no longer work…  and the IT department does not have the resources to fix them.   A smallish problem… just an addition to the stressors… and this year I seem to be running out of energy.

Fifth, while it may seem that I just pack my clothes and jump on a plane, there is much for me to do in the months before I get on that plane.   For example, Tony and I have been revising and improving all our PBL Problems and are only on the 2nd of 6 problems.     There is quite a lot to do ahead of time, and my time now is being consumed with my immediate living arrangements.  Maybe if I were better organized?  But that isn’t going to happen.

These and some additional personal considerations have added up ..…   I am not liking myself and the fact that I can’t do “everything”…  I have had the luxury for nine years of going to Mercy without worrying too much about my life or family in Canada; this year it is different…   and I need to make a different decision.  It is a painful one.   I will plan to return to Guyana in September 2013 (and be a TEN!)  if my fantasy of getting my life in order holds up.  Please stay tuned.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mercy Hospital Nursing Students need your Help.

Exciting Possibilities
I have a request for your support.   

 As you know I have been volunteering at Mercy Hospital, teaching in the School of Nursing there, one semester a year for 9 years. 

The last two years, Dr. Tony Carr and I  have introduced the McMaster Problem-based learning approach and we have had very encouraging results.  Now we are trying to pass the torch to local Guyanese educators.   Taju Olaleye, who worked with us last year as a tutor is spearheading our next step.      If we are successful in obtaining the grant we’ve applied for, it will provide the funding for local salaries, individual netbooks for all the students (crucial for this learning approach in the Guyana situation), travel for Tony and me, and a two week course for faculty taught by an international expert.

This is where we need you – all of you ...… and as many friends as you have ..… to support our application. 

 To help us:

1.     Go to  http://rs.applications.grandchallenges.ca/en/viewVideo/28735E6AA4EB37A8118574  This should bring you to Taju’s video.  “A Revolutionary Approach for Guyana Nursing Education”

2.    Please watch the video!

3.    Then you will need to register with Grand Challenges Canada in order to vote.  At the top right of the page, there is a LOGIN button. Please click.

4.    On the new page you will need to Create a New Account – hit button and add the information… including the copying of words and numbers to show you are not a robot!  Then your account needs to be confirmed (you will receive an email); you can activate it and log in.

5.    Now you should be back to Taju’s video. VOTE by hitting “Like this video.”

6.    Before you leave, please “like” the video on Facebook and Twitter, and email anyone else who might help Mercy Hospital School of Nursing with this.

7.    And for extra points – think up a great, inspiring comment!

Thanks - John