Habari za jioni

Habari za jioni (good evening) well I suppose for you all back home it should be Habari za asubuhi (good morning). I am having an amazing time over here. We had our first day in the clinic yesterday which was quite a whirlwind! Imagine 20 people in a small 3 room clinic that can fit in the modern American living room.

I started out taking vitals, not my most favorite task since that is all I do back home, but I am so happy to be able to help in any way that I can that of course I did not mind! Later on in the day I was bumped to registration, this proved to be complicated with the language barrier. We have interpreters but one thing that has proved to be a problem is they do not always know how to tell us exactly word for word what is wrong with the patient and they don’t know how to describe it very well to us in English. One thing that was an issue for me was they all talk to softly that it’s hard to hear them. I have a tough time hearing most anything back home that this was exceptionally challenging! I then moved to the Lab which I loved! Now when I say lab, I mean a folding table with a few essentials on it. What my job is now for the rest of the trip is to maintain the lab! What I do is basically blood glucose levels, Hgb levels, HIV test screenings and we would have done malaria except our malaria kits seem to be dysfunctional. Hopefully we can find new ones somewhere soon. We also have tools to do pregnancy tests and urine dips, we just haven’t had the need for it yet. I am happy to say that on the first day of in clinic work, we only had one person test positive for HIV! I can’t tell you how amazing it is to tell someone that they’re test is negative and they are fine, one girl burst out into the biggest smile and jumped up and gave me a hug. It literally brought tears to my eyes. My heart goes out to the one person who has to deal with this now, but we are trying to do everything we can to help them in every way possible.

We went to the orphanage today and I worked the lab table again. Oh it broke my heart to see them cry when we pricked their fingers. I just had to continue to remind myself that I was helping them and the pain from the prick is short lived. It was funny to me because almost every single one of the boys cried and one I thought was going to pass out because he was so upset, yet only one girl cried and she couldn’t have been older than 4 or 5. The girls here are tough cookies!! All of the children tested negative!!! How wonderful is that 🙂

After the orphanage we had to run into Arusha to a pharmacy (that sees both humans and animals) to pick up more supplies. A few of us went on a short walk around the block, not getting very far away and staying attached to our interpreters. It is so different over here. There is garbage all over the streets, the water looks like there may be some raw sewage in it, the poverty is just outrageous. It really has opened my eyes a great deal to see how people live over here then think about all I have back home, I am so grateful. we were bombarded by people wanting to sell things, I actually found something that I really liked so I got it… boy did that make things worse!! It seemed like all of Arusha was gathered around our bus trying to get money out of someone! It was definitely an interesting experience.

I am trying to put as much detail as I can in the posts, however there are 20 people wanting to use the computer so this is why they all are so short. I would be more than happy to visit with anyone when I return and tell you all about my time here in Tanzania. I hope all is well with you all back home. Kwaheri and Usiku mwema (goodbye and goodnight).


Published in: on May 22, 2009 at 5:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

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