I have included some photos from my travels. The accommodations are always first rate. The meals and cultural experiences are also top shelf. With qualified guides, we had ample opportunity to learn not only about the people, but also about the place. From safaris, to jungle river exploration, to arts and architecture—the trips helped enrich my personal and professional life.
The cultural experiences in hospitals and schools for us were varying and enlightening. I visited schools in the Andes mountains where the children spoke three languages; schools for the deaf in Johannesburg where all children had cochlear implants; and schools for the deaf in Havana where sign language was used. I visited a school in a township of Cape Town where the children’s hearing and vision was being tested using blue tooth technology since there was no electricity in the school. I visited the sparse polyclinics in Cuba, a rehabilitation center in the Andes mountains of Peru, and a state-of-the-art hospital in Johannesburg. All the visits were varied and all showed that people everywhere are doing what they can to deliver services given their circumstances.
But the best feature of the travels is the opportunity to develop professional relationships with like-minded people. The friendships and relationships have extended beyond the time of the trips themselves. The travels have also enriched my professional life. Since returning from South Africa, I have made conference presentations at national conferences with my colleagues that I met in Johannesburg. I have consulted on a publication about speech language services in South Africa and published an article on health care in Cuba.
I am looking forward to the next planned journey to Vietnam and Cambodia in the spring of 2019. Because of the interest in interprofessional service delivery here, and because of the mode of delivery of services in southeast Asia, the spring trip is intended to be interprofessional with rehabilitation specialists.
About Dr. Dolores Battle
Dr. Battle is Professor Emeritus of Speech Language Pathology at SUNY Buffalo State. She is the former president of both the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (IALP). She has received numerous awards for her work in multicultural and global issues in the profession including Honors of ASHA, Honored member of the IALP, The Diversity Incentive award from the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Science and Disorders. She is widely published in communication disorders in culturally and linguistically diverse populations and has traveled professionally to 37 countries on five continents including in Kenya, South Africa, Brazil, Greece, Switzerland, Denmark, Canada, and Australia.