Hello from Tanzania,
We close our second full day in Nyakato and are fatigued but grateful. We have congealed into a more efficient medical mission team and feel that our roles are more secure. Most of the team members are from a non-surgically related medical field. Despite this divergence, our focus of safe patient care drives our common goals.
Electrical failures are frequent in Tanzania and today is no exception. It happened twice, once in the morning and once in the late afternoon. We still managed to complete seven of nine cases. The last two scheduled cases seem to exemplify the Tanzanian people. They waited all day at the clinic (hot and humid), only to be told by Deb and me that we had to cancel their cases because of the power outage. Unlike many people of other societies, they did not demonstrate any anger or disappointment. They understood the situation and agreed to come back tomorrow for their procedures. This experience is one of many such examples of the Tanzanian integrity.
We have had an opportunity to visit the town of Nyakato for a cold beverage. We always stick out like a sore thumb but the people are friendly and seem to always smile. One lady told me that “smiles are free.” The children are curious about these bazugu (foreigners). They stop, smile, wave and sometimes run away (only to return and smile again). They do not have much material wealth but they have an abundance of pride, self confidence, and happiness.
We miss all of you back home and think of you as we continue to care for the individuals who we are fortunate to meet. The warm weather here is a nice change from the freezing temperature at home though.
Thanks for your support, thoughts, and prayers.