Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Photo Bomb

Am enjoying being home with my family. Am also reflecting heaps, on all I've done, seen and heard. I definitely have my Dad's blood running through my veins as I can't wait to go away again. Mind you, it won't happen anytime soon, but it's great to dream. What the airfare cost to go to Tanzania, would take Bunny and I to Dubai, so anything is possible, once I'm working.

I feel so blessed to have been able to be involved in this entire experience, from the fund raising events, to the work and learning experiences I've been a part of. I will always be grateful for the emotional and financial support and sacrifices that were made to enable me to travel to Tanzania.

As an added bonus, my dedication and ambition toward becoming an RN is heightened in light of the work I've done.

Where we spent most evenings, on the patio at our home in Moshi.

Our first full day in Tanzania we walked to Materuni Falls. It nearly killed me but was beautiful.

Ally and I.

On the side of the road, a child plays while Dad cuts up a goat.

Mt. Kilimanjaro with the morning light.

Home in Moshi, the house, Hannna's office and below, is the sauna. (Hanna is Finnish), hence the sauna.

Debra, Daisy and Sarah ready for work.

All the stages in growing coffee, from plant to cup.

Banana soup.

Lunch on the coffee tour, note the banana stew on the back of the plate.

Children from the orphanage on Christmas Day, where we arrived bearing gifts.

One day safari, at Arusha National Park.

Hot Springs.

Ally and I ready for work.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Location:Home sweet home

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dubai what a place.

We woke up this morning after very little sleep. It was well after 2 before we got to bed and then we were up by 7.30am. Too much to do and not enough time to do it in. What can I say about this place? It's beautiful and so incredibly clean. The buildings are amazing. Ally and I spent the entire day shopping and walking around the Mall of Emirates. Prices were so good on many items. Clothing is cheap and food is very cheap. We shared appetizers and the servings were enormous. The cafe would sit around 1200 people!!!!

AND we had cheesecake. Needless to say we couldn't eat it all.

For $15 each we had a buffet dinner at the hotel. It was late because we shopped for so long. Still can't believe we ate dinner!

It's late and we've more shopping planned for tomorrow at another mall and also the Gold Souk. Homeward bound tomorrow very late.

Can't wait to come back here.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Location:Holiday Inn Express, Internet City

Friday, January 11, 2013

Last work day.

How do I even begin to recap about my day today.

We arrived at Pasua this morning with the hope of being present at a birth. As we walked into the 'birth suite' we were pleased that two women were well advanced in their labours.

I spent almost three hours supporting a lady, she was prima gravida (first baby) she was in a lot of pain and I can only pray that our presence went some way toward making the time a little less difficult for her. There was no pain relief as she laid on a wet kanga which was soaked in amniotic fluid. The lady in the next bed ended up being sent to KCMC, the largest hospital facility in the area as they believed she had placenta previa which was dangerous. There are no stretchers, so she walked to the waiting 'ambulance'.

Not long after a new lady was lying on her bed and it wasn't long before her baby presented himself. It took us a little while to identify the protruding part as a scrotum, so this delivery was going to be a difficult one. The stint had no money for fluids or a cannula, so Sandy paid for it.

It seemed that the baby took forever to deliver. He was tiny and it took her so long to deliver the shoulders and head. The RN Heuston was in control, the birth suite was so full of staff us and their students. Finally the baby was born and to our stunned amazement another baby popped out. In the shock and lack of preparation, the babe fell on the floor.

It took a second to pick him up and see that he'd died at some stage. I held the little one and cried. I held him for quite a while. Meanwhile, however Sandy and the Doctor had started to resuscitate. The babe was not breathing and there was no pulse. I then spent the following hour and a half with Sandy, the Doctor and then Heuston to resuscitate the babe. Ally went outside and found hot rocks which we wrapped in a kanga but the baby was getting cooler by the minute. Thanks to Sandy we had an oximeter so we were able to monitor him while he was suctioned and his breathing was supported. There was no access to hot water so Rachel emptied tea into her water bottle. We placed this in the blankets to maintain the its warmth.

The heart rate and oxygen saturation went up and down and it took an hour and a half for the baby to be able to breathe on his own.

The Mama got up and walked to the ambulance, as they both needed support. We'd given her the dead baby to hold, hoping that it would help with closure. Rachel believes that as infant deaths are much more common than at home.

The doctor was incredibly grateful to us. It was an experience and a half. I walked away from there happy that I'd been able to help and shocked at what is seen.

The mothers have to supply all their own things. From sterile gloves to a huge roll of cotton wool, many kangas for themselves to lie on and then for the newborn. They bring their own food. They have a bucket into which the placenta is placed and they also have all their dirty washing, which they wash themselves soon after delivery. They have no nappies, again the kanga comes into force. They bath their babies in cold water.

I'll never look at a length of fabric, or bucket at the same way again. Not ever.

The lady I supported today, who went to KCMC.

Sandy and the Doctor. The resus team!!!

The mother and babe we supported yesterday.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Location:Pasua Hospital, Moshi, Tanzania.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Our time is drawing to an end

My last days here are full of mixed feelings.
On one hand I feel ready to go home. Apart from my boys, Mum and my closest friends I'm missing many simple things. Like

The house where we're staying.

my clean and gorgeous little home. The food we have, my pussycats, my little car. I love my kitchen and my bed.
On the other hand I wish I could stay and help. I feel so helpless with all the poverty I've seen. It's everywhere. In many ways I feel such an overwhelming sense of guilt I'm so rich here. I can afford to eat in the 'best' restaurants, take a taxi anywhere, shop for food in the best shops (albeit with very limited supplies), but I'm so wealthy here. There's so much dirt, dust and no infrastructure. I'm amazed at how these people have such a wonderful heart and are so welcoming. I'm blown away that people are having babies, getting married and going though their daily lives.
Leonie spoke to me last night as I was feeling so overwhelmed and sad that I haven't achieved anything here. She says that's not quite true. We've made a difference to the lives of those we've touched. From the nurses we've worked with, to the few patients we've looked after. She said that even if we've only helped one life, that was worth it. For us it would be the dehydrated baby. We've also continued to create a path for future volunteers so that things may be a bit easier for them. Without us volunteers here, the country would have no industry and we bring money into the country. We've also given the people true nursing care. We have an empathy and compassion which is lacking in the nurses here. Don't get me wrong, the nurses work within how they are taught but there is little to no nursing care. I'm so grateful for my nursing education and for the emotional support that I know I offer.
Perhaps the biggest effect will be what it had upon me personally. We truly live in a wonderful country where we have so many opportunities and benefits. We have a government who takes care of us, even as a low income earner family we've never once lacked in health care. We love from pay to pay but it's not hand to mouth like the general population here.
Some of the girls are talking about coming back here again. I don't know if I will. However I won't say no to third world nursing.
Ally and I have put together a list of ideas of how we feel that the clinic could be improved. Even if they follow half the list, things could improve. We have also planned to post a box of items to the clinic every six months or so. They didn't even have calendars to check dates from and Ally gave them two which they were so excited about.
We are spending our last two days at Pasua, a local hospital. We hope to see some 'action' there.
Some random photos. I now keep my phone close by at all times .......

A snapshot of town. Will have to get some more. Shows how rundown it is and the dirt road.

Odd placement in the supermarket, spirits with frozen fish.

Shopping with Aynsley.

A house in a village. The surrounding area is just dirt and rocks.

The market place.


Tiga Wakala and Vodacom Wakala are everywhere. Franchises to buy phone credit. I bought a phone for $22 and spent $3 on credit and am still going. A phone is handy to ring for taxis and stay in touch with others in the group.

A roadside vegetable stand. On the highway between Arusha and Moshi.

Assessing our one patient the other day.

A sleepy AIN.

Andrew the gardener at Msaranga and Ally.

Andrew and I.
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