Greetings from Tanzania!
I have enjoyed my time here. I’ve slept like a rock every night after a full day of work at the clinic!
We start each morning at the clinic in the center under a pavilion. There is a brief chapel service with the staff, patients that are waiting join in as well. The singing at the service is amazing. It easily brings tears to my eyes as it’s so beautiful. The Nyakato Health Center staff are so friendly and kind. After the chapel service we greet each other with hugs and handshakes. It’s such a joyous time to take a few moments to appreciate one another before we start our day of work.
I start my day by scheduling the surgical cases in the order that makes the most sense based on feedback from the entire team. We’ve had such a large variety of cases this year. Several patients have presented with hernias, hydrocele’s, lipomas, or masses that need to be removed. In addition we have completed several circumcisions. Most of the time we do not have electricity and are working off of a generator! At the time of this blog we have completed a total of 32 cases with many days of surgery remaining.
After the surgical schedule is set I move in to the post op area and assist while the patients are recovering from anesthesia. It’s a wonderful experience to see the patient in pre op and then see them again as they wake up. They appreciate seeing a familiar face after a long day. Many of the patients are so thankful that we have provided them with our services. Some have told us that we are now a part of their family because we have cared for them during their surgical procedure.
I love it when the small children come around the corner to take a peek at the bazugu (white person). They love to touch my hair and the skin on my arm to see what this white skin and light hair is all about and then run away giggling!
I really enjoy working with this team. Watching us find our way on the first day to being a highly functioning team on the second was amazing. Each of us brings such an incredibly valuable skill set. None of us could do this alone, only together are we able to do this incredible work.
Deb R, RN
Today at clinic we were very busy with a large group of students from St. Mary’s School and Loreto Girl’s School. Amidst all these patients I had a knock on the door. There at the door were three girls from the orphanage, Teddy, Neeme and Kudwa, that we had seen yesterday. They all had bubbling smiles stretched across their faces. I finished my patient and then invited them in. I could tell they had something to tell me. In unison, they said thank you and thanked us for the care they received and the gifts we provided. They giggled together as they spoke English and said they were feeling better. I brought them around the clinic and introducing them to all that cared for them. I shared some pipi (candy) with them and took them out for a Fanta—an amazing variety including Passion Fanta. We waited for their leader to come back from errands and they were off again for their long journey back to the orphanage. They brought with them a letter and an invitation to visit them from their director, Christopher Gates, and then a picture the children drew and a letter they had written and signed. We found out that Nyakato had waived their admission fees and Dr. Bon used SNF (Special Needs Fund) money to cover their lab and pharmacy fees. It was a wonderful opportunity for all of us and again a special reminder of why we came here.