The children’s eyes rapidly bounced back and forth between all the new toys and faces that gathered in the room. As the presenters started, a group of the younger children at the Tangerine School, run by Karen Levanon,settled down. The Floating Doctor representatives: nurses Lorie Fagin and Stofer Harris, as well as the nursing student Christine Brubaker, had set up a room full of instruments to help the children learn about the five different senses. The presentation itself was found in the midst of the month dedicated to the human body.
Listening through the stethoscope, these future Floating Doctors were able to hear their heart beat and their lungs expand with the air surrounding them. Tasting the difference between sweet and salty, bitter and spicy,the mouths of the children filled with water, then puckered up. They could have normally tasted this in a candy bar, however the children were not sure the name for all of these flavors, much less how a heartbeattruly sounded.
What turned out to be a real test of courage, the kids were blindfolded and unable to see. The challenge: to find out what the hat being passed around contained. The kids learned to use their sense of touch, and sound when they felt in a hat what they thought were eye balls and guts. It turns out, to their gaping eyes, that what in the cap was really peeled grapes and spaghetti noodles! The entire purpose of these exercises was to introduce the children to senses and how they can interrelate with one another. Sight and taste were illustrated with lollipops. Smell and sight were represented by a special paint that when dried, would have the sweat aroma of apples lingering on the page.
As the day came to an end, the children were disappointed to leave. When asked about the lesson, Stofer Harris, a Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit Nurse from Lubbock, Texas said: “the entire experience was rewarding for both the children and for us. We, as nurses, were able to get quite creative in demonstrating the five senses. Hopefully we, as Floating Doctors, have the opportunity to not only to teach in the classrooms of Bocas town, but in the different villages around the Archipelago.”
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