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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