Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Day 1 Orientation

Today was a cruisy day. I awoke quite early and was in bed by 8pm. I was so incredibly weary and slept well. I was awake early and then outside for a spectacular view of Mt. Kilimanjaro. A special way to begin the day that marks the first anniversary of Dad's death. He would have loved the view.

We met Hanna, the co owner of Tanzania Volunteers. She showed us all the quirks of the house and explained the rules and security systems.

We had Swahili lessons in the afternoon. It's a phonetic language and relatively easy to learn. We will obviously focus on the basics initially and then will look to learn the medical questions during my placement. It seems overwhelming at this stage.

We had a fun evening with the girls. Sarita, Ainsley, Debra, Daisy, Ally and I. We laughed so much and enjoyed each others company. We are still getting so tired.

Day 2
Yesterday we had language lessons in the morning and lunch, and then Louis headed into town with us. We walked around town and had a coffee milkshake which was divine. The sights and sounds of town are inexplicable. Everything is so derelict and old. There are no 'nice' buildings at all. People make a living from so many different things. They have small old plastic grain bags which they place their wares upon. Things like old shoes, combs, brooms, spices and too many things I didn't recognise. People eke out a living from anywhere they can. The markets were amazing. All the produce was within reach. You could taste the things if you wanted to. Huge sacks of rice, rock salt, legumes, unknown grains, spices. All the produce was lovely and fresh. The meat and fish was bizarre. Nothing was refrigerated. The meat and fish is there all day long and then goes home home. Apparently the fish can be thawed and refrozen a few times. Louis explained that our produce comes from there but our meat comes prepacked. Thank goodness.

Today, Wednesday we went into the Msaranga Clinic to meet the nurses we will be working with. The ride to the clinic was so different to anything I'd experienced before. We were one of thirty squashed into a mini bus. At one stage I was standing in the doorway with the door open. At least it was cool lol. The main roads are bitumen but there's lots of horn honking to move people out of the way. There aren't a lot of cars but the traffic is crazy.

The clinic had a section for pathology, pharmacy, reception area, family planning, HIV counselling, maternity and post natal. We held a baby today. She was just beautiful. I cried holding the new precious bundle. They have no nappies, and the mother has to wash her own cloth pads from her post partum bleeding.

We're going into town this afternoon to buy some secret Santa gifts, Smirnoff and coffee.

Ally and I ready to visit our clinic.

Ally, Ainsley, Moi, Daisy, Sarita and Sarah.

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