So I guess there's a mixture of feelings going on in my head but mostly I will be sad to leave Tanzania and I am unsure how I will cope back in Canada. Since I've been here I've met incredible people with similar values and drive every day and I've learned so much about myself. It's going to be different....
It's crazy that it's only been just over a week since the accident happened but it feels even longer since Klaus and Clement have left. I really appreciate everything they did to help me adapt so quickly. I would have had a much more difficult time if I had not had other volunteers living with me. Today Amy left as well and I'm now alone with the host family. No more english speaking I guess haha. It's weird how much you appreciate the fluency of english in those around you once its gone. We also went to the Maasai cafe and we got pulled into every single little shop there. I don't think I've ever had so many "friends" or been offered a good price just for me before. Haggling has got to be the most intimidating but fun things ever. I'm getting better and I'm really worried that I'll try and barter back home haha!
Sorry to all reading but this is my most scatter-brained entry. I have alot on my mind and trying to problem solve yet again. I can't wait to get home and see everyone! I'm hoping it will be very soon as I'm starting to lose my drive here. This whole country is a black hole for time. I don't remember what day it is and I've started blanking on things from back home. Amazing what can happen in a month!
Hope everyone is well back home and I will see you all very soon!
Well I guess I'm writing to just try and get some of the images out of my head but this Saturday had to be one of the worst days of my life. (Not trying to scare anyone away from Tanzania) We went to Moshi and had a great day at the hot springs but unfortunately ran into a dilemma on the way home. The two vans left at around the same time from Moshi and Marcel was dropped at the airport. We continued driving home to Arusha like any other trip in the car; sleeping, listening to music, to the football match in Swahili, and chatting with our friends. Randomly just before Tengeru we were passing a transport truck when another transport truck swerved to overtake the other into our lane and we collided almost head-on with them. It was the single most intense (in a bad way) moment of my life. I don't quite remember the exact details, just that I braced for impact and our pleasant day turned into a nightmare.
This is where the story gets better. Despite some broken bones, bruises, and some shock and awe, everyone was fine. This could have gotten much worse and it really strengthened everyone as an entire group. Every single volunteer there was worried for each other, trying to help and hoping for the absolute best. It definitely made me really happy that I'm still here for longer and I get to know more about all these fantastic good hearted people!
Well its been awhile since I've written on this but I have lots of excuses. First to answer your question Tiff, I am staying safe and sound. All the boys were so nice and sweet but definitely had a tough side.
The hospital has been wonderful so far. I'm learning new procedures and doing different things every day and it's gratifying to be able to help some of the people that come to St Elizabeth. To the person who asked about the medical part. I have worked in a hospital in Canada volunteering, and working so I knew some stuff but it's all completely different in Tanzania. The most basic procedural things are often not followed here. TB patients don't wear masks, used needles are carried around without a cover, blood on the floor today, etc. It's a nightmare sometimes but all the doctors and nurses are doing their absolute best under the conditions given to them. And they are all sweethearts!!!
This past weekend I also managed to check off one of my life long dreams. To go to the Serengeti! 6 of my fellow volunteers and I went on safari to the Serengeti and to the Ngorongoro crater which are both protected/world heritage sites. It's mind blowing..... I got to see all of the big 5, plus cheetahs, baboons, monkeys, antelope, etc. Everything you expect from BBC nature specials hahaha! The most amazing part on our first day was seeing 41 elephants at one time. They were all coming in from the savannah in a marching line and swam and played in the small lake nearby. There were so many babies!!! Don't worry I took as many pictures as I could! On the second day we saw a couple kills in Ngorongoro since its the highest concentration of predators in Africa. One lion was right next to the road with a dead wildebeast and there were jackals and hyenas circling around. I was hoping for a battle royale but no such luck with all the safari vehicles crowding around. I managed to stick my head out of the window and get some money shots but it was intimidating being 5 feet from a huge male lion.
This weekend I am heading to Moshi so there are hot springs and relaxation ahead in my future. I love the socials with Projects Abroad you meet so many interesting people every time and they are all keen on medicine and travel so I fit in very well :D
I hope everyone I know and love in Canada is safe and sound because I am. I will talk to you all soon!
I haven't posted in awhile just because its been a busy little while. I've been working away at the hospital and slowly making friends among the staff. The best part surprisingly is payer in the morning. Every day when we get to work they sing and do a prayer to bless the hospital in Swahili. I'm amazed that everyone is such a great singer!!!! Life has been relatively routine. Go to work, come home, take walks around town, play with Ben, go to sleep, rinse and repeat. It's definitely exciting to be here still. Every day you meet new people and they all seem to remember you hahaha!
One of the housemates left this past weekend and it was sad although it gives me a reason to go to Germany to visit him! I also took a day off from the hospital and went with Claus to see his work as he is being paid by the Danish government for his work here in Arusha. We went to the orphanage that he works at to get the Teacher, and one of the older boys then set out on a street walk to convince young boys living in the street to seek an education and the opportunity for food every day. The first group we came upon were about 20 in numbers and were all in the middle of a rundown field surrounding a small cooking fire. They were a gang but not in the sense of Bloods and Crips, more like the Lord of the Flies, where they all look after each other to survive the harshness of their world. Immediately I was a little intimidated as many of these boys were visibly holding knives and were milling about trying to get a look at us and take pictures of them, but it seems like the culture of fear in North America struck again. They were more sincere than most of the children attending school that I had come across. All they wanted was to talk and learn about us. Claus and Teacher bought them all some chiapatas and chai (tea and naan-like bread). Later we continued our walk around town following Teacher. It seems like everyone in town knows and respects him. We eventually found one boy who was new in town (2 days) so yet uncorrupted by the drugs, violence, and prositution that many other children have fallen victim of. He was so genuinely happy to be found and taken away from the city he didn't know and he's still at the orphanage today where he's attending school and becoming a social butterfly with all the other great kids at Chisweya. I'm going again tomorrow and I can't wait to see more of town.
Thursday and Saturday were my first two socials with Projects Abroad and it gave me a chance to meet many of the other volunteers. They are from everywhere and its great to meet so many people. Gotta go power is going out!!!
So after an exciting weekend I finally got my orientation and introduction in the hospital St Elizabeth. The hospital is big but still small by Canadian standards and there is so much work to be done. We are going to get to see a Skin Graft operation tomorrow and I've been working in the CDC (hardcore scary diseases) and Pharmacy but I want to move around more. The language barrier is very difficult at times but I'm trying to learn as fast as possible. It's very strange being the absolute minority and everyone always calls you mzungo which means white. So when I am listening to conversations I can always tell if people are talking about me hahaha!
In the orientation I was lucky enough to meet 3 girls from Holland and 1 from Switzerland. There seems to be many Europeans and very few Westerners over here although randomly the 2 other Canadians I have met are from Toronto and Edmonton. We also just got 2 new people at our host house. A german/congolese priest learning English and a French girl, to which the French guy has already made claims to :)
Our first social for volunteers is Thursday and I am very much looking forward to meeting many more people. So far the country count is at 14 for volunteers I've met. We'll see if it gets higher!
Hope everyone is doing well back in Canada! Miss you all!
Hi everyone! I've arrived safe and sound in Tanzania. It took a long time and the Ethiopian airport is probably the most stressful place on the planet but I made it :) Tanzania is beautiful! Arriving in the airport you look around and mountains everywhere. I was picked up by a representative for Projects Abroad and got taken to Arusha. The trip was interesting enough starting with the fact that everyone drives on the left....that and nobody cares how they drive. We got forced off the road a couple times because people were passing!!
Arriving in Arusha you just notice things going on everywhere. The city is alive and there are people everywhere! Arusha has a bout 4 million people and it seems like much more than the GTA alone. All the locals are very friendly although white people or mzungas are not common in this area. I'm living with Dr Mardai and his nephew Joseph, his sister, and a little orphan boy named Ben, who is wired for energy. Living with us are two other project volunteers Klaus and Clement. It's nice to not be alone in this cause its for sure overwhelming.
Anyways. I need to head out but I know Tiffany is reading this haha :P
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