Our last day at the clinic and in the OR in Tanzania—what an experience this has been. Our team worked side by side with the staff at the clinic, so we got to know each other as we care for the patients. We found the patients to be very appreciative of what we did, with some of the procedures being life changing for them. We found ways to conserve our supplies and perform procedures with minimal resources. It was challenging but exciting and fun.
Tomorrow morning we leave for a Safari. Should be interesting and fun. The trip has gone very fast. It doesn’t seem possible that we soon will be heading home.
Excitement and sorrow are the themes for our group today. Being our last day, we have all reflected on these past days and what an impact we may have made on the patients we treated. To our surprise, most, if not all of us, feel that we have benefited from this experience more than the local population. The phrase of “medical missions will change you” is likely apparent in each of us. This morning at the 8 AM gathering, we all had a chance to express what we felt and found at this journey. Most of us stated that we would love to stay longer (or at least take everybody home). We learned about Tropical Medicine and their treatments. We were reminded of how medicine is performed without the usually overly utilized technological advices. Some of us came for ourselves but in the end, found a new pinnacle of purpose.
We feel that this mission is successful. The preparation for this mission helped to smooth the long travel, the uncomfortable feeling of an unknown medical field (for most), and the strange and unique environment of a foreign country. Our total tally of cases is around 50 for the whole trip. In general, this year’s cases were more complex but the cases still were varied. I feel fortunate and privileged to be a member of this GL medical mission.
Lastly, four team members leave for the United States today. We wish them well and safe travels. The remaining group has the next three days to experience what most people view only on animal documentaries. We depart for the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater (actually, it’s a caldera) tomorrow. We are saddened to leave our new friends at Nyakato but look forward to the sights of a lifetime.
It’s late so I’ll end with lala salama.