Guest Posts by Nurse Katie…

Busy week

I can’t believe how fast the time is going here in Tanzania! In about 6 weeks I’ll be getting ready to come home. This week has been pretty good and has gone by very fast.
On Saturday I walked to Ndala village with Dr. F- the main doctor I’ve been working with- and Mr. L. We planned to meet the women’s group and talk with them. Walking to Ndala took almost 2 hours. About the last 15 minutes of the trip it started to rain. Luckily we had umbrellas and it wasn’t too heavy. The women were very happy to see me and were glad I was able to greet them in their local tribal language. We met with the pastor of the church and some elders. Then we listened to the women sing some songs. After that it was time for introductions.
Whenever I go somewhere or meet a new group of people it seems like we have to go through these very formal introductions. After 4 different people introduced me and welcomed me, I had to stand up and greet them and say what I am doing in Tanzania and the Dr. translated it. Then the women asked me some questions. They were very interested in what happens to the elderly in America. I explained that some go to nursing
homes to get extra care when they can’t take care of themselves at home. Then they wanted to know if the men and women go to the same place and what happens to their houses. I think they were very curious because a big part of their group’s work is to visit sick people and assist families after loved ones pass away.
After our meeting we had a nice lunch, then walked around Ndala for a bit. I’m not sure if I completely understood, but I believe we met the men who will be supplying the potatoes for One Small Drop’s new project. For those who are unaware, One Small Drop was started by my friend Tammie Jo after she visited the area a few years ago, and she helped arrange my trip here.
On Sunday I did some laundry and just spent the day relaxing. It was really the first day I had to myself since I’ve been in the village so it was nice to unwind. The rest of the week I worked at the clinic during the day. I’ve been working a lot in the maternal and child
health area. I know all about the vaccines and have given a bunch, I’m getting lots of practice examining pregnant women. Towards the end of the day, the clinic gets pretty slow so the doctor and I usually go over questions I have or talk about different things we’ve done. He is a tutor for OB/GYN so he has a lot to go over with me about that,
which is nice because I haven’t thought about any of that since nursing school.
This week I was also invited to some dinners. Monday I had dinner at an elder’s house. He had a world map and wanted to see where I lived. On Wednesday my host parents asked me over because they got a computer and wanted to learn how to shut it off :) I’ve gone over on Thursday and Friday to help them with their email. It’s definitely a challenge
teaching someone about computers when they have no experience AND English is their 3rd language. But they are slowly getting it.
I don’t have much planned for this weekend. I need to do more laundry and I have dance practice with the choir in the afternoons.

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