Written by Sally
Hi, I am Sally, one of the RN’s working with Gundersen Lutheran at Nyakato Health Center. Thank you for taking the time to share our experience with us through this blog. Forgive us if we repeat what has already been shared as we do not have the opportunity to read what others have written – we’ll have to do that when we get back home! We did print a copy of the blog comments our daughter forwarded to us via email and everyone enjoyed your thoughts.
Today at the morning staff ‘chapel’ time Dr. Msengi shared that we should praise God and thank him that we are able to get up each day and go to work. We have so very much to be thankful for, including another new day each morning; we have learned it is often the simple things we appreciate the most. First of all we are so grateful for the hard working team we have representing Gundersen Lutheran. We are SO proud of them and the many long hours day after day that they are working serving the beautiful Tanzanians – without a word of complaint. We have completed 69 surgical cases as well as 96 medical evaluations.
We are most grateful (selfishly) if we wake to electricity because that means we can cherish a warm shower instead of a using a cold bucket to bathe. Since our arrival we have not had a complete 24 hour period without the electricity going out and have often had the water not function as well. The team has not complained and simply continues to take it all in stride. We have been awake many nights with terrific rain/lightening storms. We are thankful when we get a good night of sleep. We are thankful for the relative good health of each team member – no one has had any major health issues despite the water issues and cultural differences in food. We are thankful for the beautiful Tanzanians we are working with and the many patients we are seeing. They are so appreciative and gracious despite conditions that few can imagine. Indeed, we are thankful to get up each day and go to ‘work’.
Since our connection with Nyakato Health Center 2 years ago, our family has sponsored a child from Nyakato through Compassion International. We were surprised to discover his school is a 5 minute walk from Nyakato Health Center and made arrangements to meet him and see a part of his school. The staff gave us hot milk (with sugar if you desired!) and cookies and then we walked with him – and Compassion staff- to his home. We walked through the village and then a small trail leading through several small areas of little houses made mostly of mud bricks, a few small fields and ditches. His home was a 2 room mud brick house where he lived with his 2 siblings, his grandmother and her sister. She had beautiful hand crocheted doilies on the couch and furniture and were gracious hosts despite living in humble conditions probably un-survivable to most of us. We have so so much to be thankful for.
As we prepare to leave we have had tears of joy, songs of praise and celebration and friendships formed. As mentioned at chapel today, we have learned from and gained much from this experience. We are leaving tomorrow morning to begin 3 days of Safari and then home but I think I speak for all of us when I say a bit of our heart(s) will remain in Tanzania with these very special, beautiful people.