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November 2015

Eindelijk is het dan zover!   (published in Tanzania)

November 28, 2015 by   Comments(1)

Eindelijk is het dan zover. Ons avontuur gaat nu dan echt beginnen. Na maanden van voorbereidingen, informatie inwinnen, trainingen volgen en andere zaken die gedaan moesten worden zijn we nu dan klaar om te vertrekken. Morgen (zondag) om 10.15u stappen we in het vliegtuig opweg naar Arusha, Tanzania.

Al enkele jaren kriebelt het om een reis als deze te gaan maken. Wat zijn we blij dat we dit ook samen, met z’n tweetjes kunnen gaan doen.

Zoals gezegd zullen we zondag afreizen naar Arusha, een stad in het noorden van Tanzania. Een grote stad met zo’n 271.000 inwoners (aldus wikipedia). Een stad, waarin we 8 weken zullen wonen, werken en andere dagelijkse bezigheden zullen uitvoeren.
Na aankomst (zonder vertraging rond 20.30u plaatselijke tijd) zullen we naar ons gastgezin worden gebracht en daar de eerste van de vele nachten gaan doorbrengen. De 2e dag staat er een rondleiding door de stad op de planning, langs banken, kantoor van de vrijwilligersorganisatie, het weeshuis waar we daadwerkelijk gaan werken en tal van andere plaatsen zullen we op deze dag gaan zien. Dit om ons wegwijs te maken in deze onbekende stad/wereld.
Zoals het er nu naar uitziet, zullen we vanaf de 3e dag werkzaam zijn in het Faranja Orphanage. Dit is een weeshuis voor kinderen (met/zonder beperking). Zoals we hebben begrepen zijn hier ongeveer 200 kinderen aanwezig met allerlei problematiek. Zo zijn er kinderen die hun beide ouders zijn verloren, met HIV besmet zijn of die er tijdelijk verblijven.
De werkzaamheden die we hier gaan doen zijn nog niet helemaal bekend. Waarschijnlijk gaat het om het geven van engelse les, sport en spellessen, rekenles geven, verzorging van kinderen of het voorbereiden en klaarmaken van maaltijden.

Uiteraard zullen we ook een bezoek gaan brengen aan diverse mooie omgevingen zoals de Kilimanjaro (niet beklimmen ;)), de Ngorongoro Krater en de Serengeti. Als afsluiting zullen we nog 2,5 week lekker vakantie gaan vieren op Zanzibar. Dit is allemaal nog ver weg, dus daarover later meer.

We zullen proberen om vaker van ons te laten horen d.m.v. deze blog. Echter is en blijft het Afrika, dus zullen we moeten afwachten wat de mogelijkheden tot internet etc zijn.

We hopen dat jullie veel plezier zullen beleven aan het lezen van onze verhalen en ervaringen.

Kwa heri (tot kijk)
Frank en Marlou

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Eindelijk is het dan zover!https://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/MarlouFrank/read/408845/eindelijk-is-het-dan-zover
Eindelijk is het dan zover!
 

Outreach   (published in Tanzania)

November 23, 2015 by   Comments(0)

Hallo.

Heute war ich mit der Carclinic unterwegs. Das bedeutet, dass wir in meist entferntere Dörfer fahren, um dort Kinder zu impfen und teilweise auch Medikamente zu verteilen. Als ich das erste Mal mit war kam kein einziger Patient und auch heute hatte ich nicht besonders viel Glück. Es waren zwar einige, wenige Patienten da, aber nach kurzer Zeit hat es heftig zu regnen begonnen, es ist gerade Regenzeit, sodass wir in einer kleinen Schule Unterschlupf suchten. Da sah es aus, wie vor hundert Jahren: unbequeme, hölzerne Schulbänke, viele unterschiedlich alte Schüler, eine Tafel und sonst gar nichts. Ich, die Mzungu (Weisse), war die Hauptattraktion. Alle haben meine helle Haut und hellen Haare bewundert und wollten mich berühren. Gott sei Dank war der Unterricht schon beendet. Als das Wetter besser wurde sind wir wieder gefahren und natürlich total nass geworden, da wir mit dem Pickup unterwegs waren.

Lg aus dem momentan sehr regnerischen Afrika, Maren

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Outreachhttps://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/mkruppa/read/408676/outreach
Outreach
 

Arbeit   (published in Tanzania)

November 17, 2015 by   Comments(0)

Gerade habe ich bei einem Kaiserschnitt assistiert. Das erste Mal, dass ich wirklich helfen konnte. Hat richtig Spaß gemacht. Allerdings ist hier nichts richtig steril und es ist auch nicht so wichtig, ob die Patientin gut nakotisiert ist, oder nicht. Sehr brutal.

Lg, Maren

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Arbeithttps://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/mkruppa/read/408430/arbeit
Arbeit
 

Hello Tanzania!   (published in Tanzania)

November 16, 2015 by   Comments(0)

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It’s amazing how time flies. I’ve already been here in Tanzania for two and a half week, and I still feel like I’ve just arrived. It’s also funny how when I came here, instead of comparing Tanzania to Denmark, I’ve mostly been comparing it to the Philippines as I came straight from there. It’s been fun to compare, as there are things that are very similar and things that are very different.

 

I arrived at my host family on Tuesday 27th of October in the afternoon. Someone called Seleman picked me up at the airport. I had to wait for him for 15-20 minutes, as he was late because of traffic because I arrived in the middle of the election here in Tanzania. I was taken to my host family straight away to be shown to my room and introduced to my host mother, Mama George. She welcomed me and told that this was my home for the next eight weeks and that this would be my Tanzanian family. She showed me the house and introduced me to the maid. I had dinner around 6pm (that’s an early dinner here) and sat and talked to Mama George for the rest of the evening.


The house is very nice, a lot nicer than I expected, and I can understand that my house is really nice in comparison to many others! We have running water (not drinkable though), a shower, a western-style toilet that can flush (although it clogs VERY easily), and I have a nice ceiling fan to keep from overheating in the night. For some time we've had to take a bucket shower though, as the water has to be pumped from outside which means it takes some time before there's any pressure on the water again. i don't mind, though, as I actually felt more clean after a bucket shower than a regular shower with very weak water pressure. We have electricity, but there are very common power blackouts where the power will disappear for anywhere from a couple of minutes to practically the entire day. It's mostly during the day, but once or twice it's been during the night (ceiling fan stops - damnit!) and sometimes early morning. Once we didn't have power for the entire day but found out that was apparently because our host mother had to go and pay for the electricity, so when she came home again in the evening she had a bill with her with a code on it that needed to be typed in to a machine before the power came back.

No power at dinner time means a romantic candlelight dinner instead.

 

The next day, Godwin, a Projects Abroad staff member, picked me up around 9. He took me to the office where I paid 250 USD for my CTA permit (allowing me to work as a volunteer in Tanzania) and got a t-shirt, a medical coat and some scrubs. Then he took me to the hospital to meet Dr. Wandi, who is supposed to be my supervisor at the hospital. He’s supposed to give every volunteer a schedule and a logbook and then they’re supposed to follow the schedule. The case is, however, that he is very busy, and although I did get to meet him on my first day, I haven’t yet got my schedule.  I’ve seen him once or twice since and said hi, but whether I’ll ever get the schedule, I don’t know. I have also heard from other volunteers that nobody really follows the schedule and really just go to the departments where they like to be. I’ve decided to do the same, and as such I’ve spent most of my time in either the Minor Theatre (where every kind of less complicated things shows up + a few more serious things) and general surgery/surgical ward (pre- and post surgery) which are two of the places where there is a good chance to actually be allowed to do some work as a pre-med (not yet studying medicine). It is mostly nursing work, however the nurses and doctors will still tell you some of the facts about the cases, including how they diagnose and what they do when they don’t yet have a certain diagnosis. I don’t mind doing nursing work when I’m here either, as it is very much hands-on and easy to learn and understand without having studied already. Yet you still get to learn a lot. A very important thing, however, is that the cases are generally very different from what you would see in a western country and as such, it only provides experience and knowledge that can be helpful in a broad perspective, but generally not with specific cases when I return to Denmark.

 

The most common diseases in the 'general surgery' ward (pre- and post-op) - nothing like the Danish cases

 

I’m hoping to go to the major theatre (the major surgeries) next week to observe a surgery or two as I think it might be interesting to see how they handle surgeries, sterility, etc. here. The case is that sterility practically doesn’t exist here. Now I’ve never learned how to practice complete sterility myself, but I do know that when you put on sterile gloves and immediately touch the fingers of the glove with your hands to pull the glove on, it is no longer sterile. Or when you put sterile gloves on and proceeds to grab a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, iodine, saline solution or whatever they need as those things are definitely not sterile. I find it to be a huge waste, as the sterile gloves are a lot more expensive than regular gloves, and they use a lot of them without knowing how to practice sterility anyway. They also use sterile gloves for regular wound cleaning which we wouldn’t even do in Denmark – however, to be fair, everything gets so easily infected here that I suppose every attempt they make to be just a little more sterile is a positive thing.


 

Snuck this picture in the minor theatre of how the trays are cleaned. They're dipped in those three buckets (not sure what's in each) and sometimes even scrubbed with a cloth (the same ones used to clean the examination beds - the same clothes everytime, also lying in some sort of water). Then they leave the trays to dry before using them to place 'sterile' gause, cotton, etc. in from an incubator. 

 

So that was a bit about the hospital. Let’s talk a bit about my free time. Our work days are very short, from 9am to 1pm but even then, if there’s nothing to do at the hospital or you just get hungry, you can just go home earlier, as you eat lunch at home and in my case, going home with the Dala-Dala (bus) takes almost an hour as I have to walk 10-20 minutes before and after the Dala-Dala each way. It is also very hot, which make you tired and hungry, especially because many of the host families just serve white bread with some butter/margarine and/or jam for breakfast. Dinner is the main meal here in Tanzania, and as such, they rarely make anything special for breakfast or lunch. However, I’ve bought some eggs, vegetables and some brown bread so I can make myself a decent breakfast in the morning.

So we’re off very early which means that very often the volunteers will do something together in the afternoon such as going to a market, eating out, going to the beach, etc. That means that I have gotten lazy! Or at least it means that I’ve changed my priorities a bit, as in the Philippines I went to a gym around 3 times per week. With all the activities here I’d like to socialize and as such I have only been to a gym two times in my first two weeks when we were at a hotel (we go to a hotel with a beach and pool in the afternoon sometimes) that has a gym and then just paid to use the gym facilities there. I hope to get to go at least twice per week in the future though, as I must admit I miss working out!

 

The weekends admittedly aren’t nearly as exciting as they were in the Philippines. In the Philippines we’d all go somewhere every weekend, to experience something new. Here it’s more staying at different beaches or going to markets, which is fun sometimes, but I must admit that just lying on the beach and going to the same markets gets boring eventually, although I do enjoy the markets. I don’t like spending day after day on the beach, though. Next week we’re going 6 people on a 4-day safari in Arusha though – we’ll take a plane early Thursday morning and another one back to Dar Es Salaam late Sunday evening. I’m so excited and hope to have an amazing experience on the safari.

 

The entrance to Kunduchi, one of the hotels we go to and enjoy the beach, sun, pool, and in my case also the gym.

 

The weekend after I might go to Zanzibar, as I would like to go there twice. I’m not sure though as I have to be a little careful with the budget too and I don’t know if I’ll be able to share room expenses with anyone. Tanzania seems to generally be more expensive than the Philippines, especially Zanzibar is quite expensive, and I don’t want to spend all my money while I’m here. We’ll see though, I really hope to be able to go twice. If not, I might go for a full week instead by the end of my project to save on transport.

 

By now I must admit that I am sometimes starting to miss home. I admit that it is some extra stress when you go from one country/culture to another, and you need at least a week to adjust to the new environment. It wasn’t too hard, but sometimes I have to remind myself that I am no longer in the Philippines, and Tanzania is very different in certain aspects that you have to be aware of, such as clothing and generally the way you approach other people. In the Philippines they were quite westernized, whereas they are not in Tanzania, and some of the things we’ll usually do or say they’ll take quite personal I’ve found. You have to learn to respect their culture and whenever the cultural difference makes for complications it’s important to ensure them that you meant no disrespect, as you didn’t know their culture was so different in that aspect. Luckily, Tanzanians also seem to be forgiving and kindhearted which means that even when you do offend them, they’ll forgive you, as they know you’re from another culture and are trying your best to adjust.

I look forward to seeing my family at Christmas though, and hopefully some friends before and after new year’s eve, even if I might go to Brazil already in January or February for a few months. I’m not sure if that’s happening yet, as I could also try to find a study relevant job. But then again, I could always take another year off to work if necessary. I don’t feel like I’m really in a hurry to start studying but I also don’t want to wait too long. Right now I’m enjoying life though, and I don’t feel like I need the stress of studying just yet. I’ll see what happens, though.

 

I hope you’re all enjoying life at home and slowly warming up for Christmas. Even with the tragedy in Paris, France, I hope you all keep your heads high – don’t let the terrorists break you, stay happy and stay strong. It’s a shame to see such bloodshed, but seeing the life standards of people in the Philippines and Tanzania I find some sort of comfort in the fact that the people who died in the attack likely was blessed with good lives with little to no troubles before, and that any wounded people will receive good quality health care. Seeing people coming in to the hospital here beat up and with open wounds that practically can’t heal here due to lack of good quality treatment. They pour saline solution, hydrogen peroxide and iodine into open wounds here. They risk giving every patient blood poisoning, but they still do it because it’s better than doing nothing and letting the wounds untreated which will eventually kill the patient. They simply don’t have the resources to do better.

 

I don’t think I’ll ever complain about the Danish hospitals and healthcare again, no matter how long I have to wait or no matter how grumpy the nurses are. Here some of the staff will laugh at the patients in front of them, because what can they do? They need the treatment. Of course not all the nurses and doctors do that, most of them are really nice and seem to actually care that the patient receives good treatment, but unfortunately there are those that don’t.

 

It’s a hard world and it’s especially hard to see the standard here in Tanzania, and I really wish I could do more than I can. I’ll just have to make the best of it and help wherever I can, while learning as much as I possibly can.


P.s. one of the local supermarkets is selling Lurpak - can't find a more Danish product than that!


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Hello Tanzania!https://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/saibot74/read/408392/hello-tanzania
Hello Tanzania!
 

Feiertag   (published in Tanzania)

November 5, 2015 by   Comments(1)

Hallo.

Heute ist unverhofft ein Feiertag in Tansania. Das hat der vor einer Woche neu gewählte Präsident gestern entschieden. Typisch afrikanisch. Also war heute noch weniger los als sonst. In der Freizeit kann man hier sowieso nicht viel machen. Nur ins nahegelegene Dorf laufen. Das ist genauso, wie man sich afrikanische Dörfer vorstellt. Wellblechhütten, kleine Shops, die wenig anbieten, viel Schmutz und viele Ziegen. Ansonsten bleibt einem nur viel zu lesen und vor den Zimmer in die Landschaft zu starren und sich über die tierischen Besucher (Zebras, Giraffen, Paviane, Esel und Kühe zu freuen.

 

Lg, Maren

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Feiertaghttps://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/mkruppa/read/407637/feiertag
Feiertag