Armchair Travel takes seniors to Zimbabwe

Jan. 31, 2013 @ 05:35 PM

As part of a month-long lesson on Zimbabwe, seniors at Woodridge Assisted Living were taught hand weaving in mid January.

The Zimbabwe program was the first of the Armchair Travel series the facility plans to host every month throughout the year.

Zimbabwe is a country in southern Africa bordered by Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique.

As part of the Armchair Travel series, residents of the facility focus on learning about a different country every month. A Zimbabwe pottery lesson was planned for this week and in February, the residents plan to move onto learning about Mexico, Lisa Fago, Woodridge's activities director, said.

Throughout January, the residents have learned various facts about Zimbabwe. 

"It's something that they really enjoy," Fago said.

According to the National Geographic website, Zimbabwe's economy centers on farming, mining and manufacturing. Up until drought struck the country in the early 1990s, it was able to feed itself. Land redistribution and declines in food production are some major issues the country faces.

By choosing a different country every month, the seniors get to learn about different cultures and countries that they may not know a lot about. Some of the facility's residents have never been outside of local areas so this gives them a chance to learn about places they have never been to, Fago said.

The weaving lesson offered to the residents in mid January, was entirely hands on and done with strips of paper and cloth. The activity was a creative outlet for the residents that required attention to detail and hand-eye coordination, according to a statement from Woodridge Assisted Living.

"The joy of making something beautiful with nothing more than pieces of paper and fabric is something that the residents really take pride in. The seniors hung their weavings in their rooms and some even put a photograph on the front to make it into a frame," Fago said in the Woodridge Assisted Living statement.

Weaving is only one part of traditional art in Zimbabwe. Other forms of the country's traditional artwork include pottery, sewing and carving, according to iExplore.com.

For more information about Woodridge Assisted Living, contact Administrator Stephanie Yow by calling 704-225-0011 or visit the facility's Facebook page.