Today was the first day of the sixth annual Global Foundation for Children With Hearing Loss Vietnam Summer Training Program. We’re starting off with our audiology course for Vietnamese audiology technicians (next week, teachers and therapists get underway with their own GFCHL training programs). Our goal is to be sure that the audiology technicians and the centers that we work with in Vietnam have the equipment and expertise needed to support the needs of young children with hearing loss who are learning to listen and talk.

Audiology is equipment intensive and besides being expensive equipment that is needed, there are also challenges with getting things set up in a low income country. The Vietnamese audiology technicians were impressive today installing new equipment, setting up drives, software, laptops, etc
Over lunch, one of the Vietnamese even figured out how to construct — by hand– a cable connector that we needed to get some systems to work.  To think they did all this with English language-based equipment and software while not fluent in English themselves is remarkable.

It makes you think…how people in low-resource areas like Vietnam are usually driven to utilize any training and education they receive and also have the tenacity to find a way to get things done.

In a lighter moment, one of our interpreters told me that some of the participants were feeling sleepy during the afternoon lectures because the A/C in the room felt so cold on their heads.  I asked him to confirm….they are falling asleep because the room is COOL?  When he nodded yes, I explained to him that in the United States, we often keep our conference rooms on the cooler side as not to make people feel sleepy sitting in a warm room.  That kicked off a humorous exchange between us and Vietnamese about warm rooms vs cool rooms and which one puts you to sleep faster.

See?  There’s never a dull moment. 🙂

Our clinical practicum starts tomorrow. The Vietnamese audio techs and GFCHL will be testing young children under 6 years of age who are supported by teachers and therapists we have trained in auditory-verbal therapy and early intervention. Children who need them will receive new hearing aids…that’s the best part. We’re excited!