Sunday, December 30, 2012

Day 14 - Lake Manyara National Park and Lake Manyara Wildlife Lodge

Happy birthday Mum and Sachin!

Day one of safari...OMG, what an awesome day!

Adam, Louis (a different one to the one I usually mention) and Doc arrived at the house to pick us up in the safari trucks. The trucks have six seats in the back (three rows) and a front passanger seat so everyone gets a window seat. The roof also pops up so you can stand on the seat and look out through the top! I travelled in a car with Aynsley, Sarita, Daisy, Debra, Tash and Taz. I got the front passenger seat and Adam was our driver and guide.

We headed off and our first stop was a supermarket in Arusha. We needed to stop for snacks and alcohol! We will be away for New Years Eve so a few of the girls are planning to have a couple of drinks.

We then headed for Lake Manyara National Park. I think the trip may have taken about 3 1/2 hours excluding the snack stop but I don't know because I wasn't paying any attention to the time. I slept for some of the trip but for the rest of it I just looked out the window and tried to take it all in. I enjoyed the drive. The scenery was similar to times it reminded me of the drive to Dalby but it was also very different. There were Masai all along the way with their cattle and goats. The Masai are a Tanzanian tribe who are quite distinct therefore easy to recognise. They wear colourful 'robes' and lots of beaded jewellery and they often carry a stick. They graze their animals along the side of the road. Their homes are also easy to spot. The live in cute little round straw huts!

When we arrived at Lake Manyara we stopped for a packed lunch before heading off further into the park.

The first animal we saw were monkeys...lots of monkeys! As we drove around we also saw elephants, giraffes, wilderbeasts, flamingos, one zebra, baboons and little deer like things but I can't remember their name.

The experience was amazing. At times the animals were only metres away from the truck!

After we left the park we went to a souvenier shop. Mum, I was able to get you an African doll like you had asked for. I was pretty impressed with my bartering skills too! I asked how much and was told $20USD (the shops are more expensive here because it is a touristy area and for some reason they like to work in US dollars!) but in the end I worked them down to $9.50USD. $9.50USD is equal to 15 000 shillings. I could have got a similar doll cheaper in Moshi but the ones in Moshi are a bit smaller and not as well made so I figured it was worth paying a bit extra.

I went to the campsite with the girls to drop them off and then Adam drove me to the 'lodging accomodation'. Well, the lodging turned out to be a beautiful hotel! There are four of us, Leonie, Sandy, Tania and myself, who chose the lodging accomodation while the rest opted to camp. We were giddy with excitment when we saw where we were staying and that continued for the whole night! We wandered the grounds and took some photos and then went to the pool bar for a drink. The view is absolutely amazing. We are on top of a cliff overlooking the national park we just drove through. We then went to the restraunt where a buffet dinner was served. Dinner was great and it was nice to have something different for a change as we have been eating pretty much the same thing everyday for the past two weeks. After (way too much) dinner we returned to our rooms (I am sharing with Leonie) and I had the best shower I have had since leaving Australia!

I am now tucked up into bed and am about to go to sleep. I have no idea where we are going tomorrow but I am looking forward to it!

Love you all <3

Friday, December 28, 2012

Day 13 - Morning Tea and a Birthday Dinner


We went by taxi to placement this morning. We were supposed to go by daladala but some of the girls complained and said they would rather wait until next week. I think they are being wusses! Although I will probably do it once and never want to do it again ;o).

I spent my morning in the antenatal clinic with Sister Karen and three of the student nurses. Nazmin kept me up to date with what was being said and I got to listen to fetal heartbeats, palpate the Mamas bellies to feel the position of the baby and measure fundal heights. I wasn't very good at feeling the position of the baby as I was to gentle and you need to push deeply to be able to feel anything. I am gentle because I remember how much it hurt when the midwives at home did it to me but if I am ever going to feel anything I will need to get over that.

Today was the local student nurses last day of placement at Pasua so Bellinda, Chioma, Sandy and I had taken biscuits and cake to share for a late morning tea before we left. The student nurses were very excited and really enjoyed the food.

I don't know why but I was feeling particularly tired today so after placement I went home and layed on the lounge and read my book.

At 6:30pm we went out to a restaurant down the road called 10 2 10 for Jenny's 50th birthday. The service was very slow and we did not start getting our meals until 8:30pm. There were a few different types of cuisine offered and I ordered from the Indian menu. I can't remember the name of the dish but it was potato stuffed with cheese and cashews. I also ordered steamed rice, naan bread and yogurt to go with it. The meal was delicious however the yoghurt didn't even arrive until I had finished eating! I was lucky though because I did receive all the dishes I had ordered...a lot of people didn't. When it came time for us to leave the bill added up to 80 000 shillings ($48.90 AUD) more than we had ordered and received! Louis spent 1 1/2 hours arguing over the bill without success so in the end we all had to put in extra money to cover it. It was a bit disappointing as all the meals were very good and we would have liked to return to the restaurant but it is not nice to feel you have been taken advantage of. Louis will return to the restaurant tomorrow to discuss the matter further with them.

Tomorrow I am going on safari for three nights. We leave here at 8am and I have not yet packed my bag so I will be up early in the morning to do that.

Good night, love you <3

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Day 12 - A Baby Girl and More Shopping


Bellinda, Chioma and I headed off to Pasua this morning in the taxi - still no daladala experience however I have heard rumours that that may happen tomorrow. Sandy stayed home today as she was not feeling well.

I was really looking forward to placement as today was my turn in Labour and Delivery. When we arrived we went to the morning hand over meeting. There had been two births during the night but one inparticular had the Sisters' attention. An 18 year old girl had attended the clinic in labour claiming to be about 5 months pregnant however she had given birth to a full term baby. The Sisters were amused as the girl had only been married for about 5 months so they believed she was fibbing about the babies due date. They were all chuckling about it!

After hand over I went to the delivery room with Melanie (one of the midwives) and was very excited to see a Mama on one of the two delivery room beds. She was in labour and was waiting for a pelvic examination to assess the progress of her labour. This helps the midwife to know how far into the labour the Mama is and how much further she needs to go. Melanie examined the Mama and found that her cervix was 7cm dilated. This was good news to me as I knew she only had another 3cm to go which meant I would probably be able to be there for the birth!

I helped Melanie clean the labour and delivery and postnatal rooms with a cold water and bleach solution and a rag and then I spent time with the Mama.

It is different here than at home. The Mamas birth alone with no family members at all...not even the baby's father. Even the midwives ignore them! This Mama's name was Happiness (that is not unusual here!) and she was in a lot of pain but she kept as quiet as possible. She was definitely a lot quieter than I was (for those who don't know, I was very loud through each of my deliveries!). She was trying to rub her own back unsuccessfully and the midwife continued to ignore her so I rubbed and massaged her back for her. I couldn't understand her and she couldn't understand me but she appeared to appreciate it. There is no pain relief offered to labouring women so natural methods are the only option. Also, unlike home, the Mama brings all the equipment needed with them to the clinic when they come in. This includes kitenge (similar to a sarong and is used as the bed sheet), sterile gloves, cord clamp, a large roll of cotton swab, oxytocin, syringe and needle. When Happiness was standing I tried to encourage her to lean on the bed and sway her hips but she either didn't understand or wasn't interested!

Happiness's contractions had started at 5am this morning and she was 7cm dilated at 8:30am. This was the first stage of labour. At about 11am to 11:30am she had reached 10cm dilated and was entering the second stage of labour. During the second stage the contractions slowed down a bit and this stage was delayed. Second stage would usually last about 30 minutes but it took longer. Happiness gave birth to a baby girl at 12:25pm. I was luck enough to help Melanie guide the baby out and hand her to her Mama!

The third stage is to deliver the placenta. Unfortunately, that was done very differently here than at home. The baby was wrapped and taken away to be weighed and then placed on the next bed alone. Happiness was given the injection of oxytocin and the midwife then started to pull on the umbilical cord straight away. The placenta wasn't ready to come out so I collected the baby and tried to encourage the Mama to breastfeed her as this releases natural hormones in the body which causes contractions and helps the placenta to come away from the wall of the uterus more easily however I was told she was not to breastfeed the baby until the placenta had been birthed. As the pulling of the umbilical cord was not sucessful the midwife proceeded to push her whole hand in and dig the placenta out. I was horrified! Again, I offered to let the Mama breastfeed but again I was told no. Not only was this method the last thing she needs after giving birth but it is dangerous for the Mama. It introduces bacteria which cause infection and increases the risk of bleeding and pieces of the placenta being left behind which also causes infection. The infection caused by doing what this midwife did is very serious and has the potential to kill the Mama if not picked up and treated early enough, which is very possible in a third world country like Tanzania. The birthing of the placenta should be relatively simple and easy. It does not usually require the intervention that was used today!

I am still trying to work out how to deal with this situation however I am considering printing out some journal articles regarding best practice for placenta delivery and talking about it with Tabatha (the director of nursing).

So, while the delivery of the baby was amazing, the delivery of the placenta was horrifying! However, I now know with 100% confidence that I want to be a midwife and next year I will enroll in the Master of Midwifery starting part-time in 2014 (sorry Steve!).

After work Bellinda and I went into town for lunch and to do some shopping. We tried a different restaurant called Deli Chez or Chez Deli that some of the girls had recommended but the meals took about an hour to come out and they were not very good! Grandad, while shopping I got you a green 'hippy shirt' (you know the style!) with a picture of Africa on it.

Anyway, it is time for bed now. Tomorrow I will be working in Family Planning and Antenatal which I am also looking forward to because they are my other favourite areas to work in. I will give you boys a call some time tomorrow as I am going on safari on Saturday and I probably won't have access to an internet connection again until Wednesday so I won't be able to contact you.

I love you and I hope you are enjoying your holidays <3

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Day 11 - A sleep In and a Bike Ride

Happy Boxing Day!

Today has been very quiet. It started out with a sleep in after a late night last night and then I chatted with you boys before getting up. You boys have been so spoilt this year that I would not be surprised if you are now hoping I go away every Christmas!!!

I got up and had breakfast then went back to bed for a while. I hopped up again just before 12pm and had a shower before lunch.

After lunch Sandy and I went for a bike ride down the road to the small local grocery store. I had a little bit of trouble at first because the bike seat was way to high for me but I was okay once I got going. I will probably pay for it tomorrow because it was 1km each way and there was a hill involved!

The rest of the day consisted of doing not much at all. It was quite boring actually.

I am working in Labour and Delivery tomorrow so I am really excited about that. I am praying that there will be a delivery that I can assist with. My chances aren't great as Pasua is only a small clinic but you never know your luck :o)

Have a great day. Love you <3

Day 10 - Orphanage, Juvenile Detention Centre and a BBQ

Merry Christmas everyone!

Today started with video chatting with you boys at midnight while you opened your gifts. That was a good idea Kaleb as I still felt part of your Christmas morning and got to see your reactions when you opened gifts. I love my new nursing watch! Steve, you chose very well.

At 8am our Secret Santa gifts were handed out. I received a scarf similar to the one I got for Daphne as well as a note book and pen. My Secret Santa person was Tash and I got her an ampuole opener. I watched her open her gift and at first she did not know what it was but once someone told her she was excited and really liked it. The funny thing was that only a couple of days ago she was saying how hard the ampuoles are to open at her hospital placement so hopefully it will come in handy for her already.

After breakfast we headed to the Upendo Orphanage where we met with the children and handed out Christmas gifts. The orphanage is run by Catholic nuns and the facilities were in good condition. The children were obviously well cared for and had decent clothing and disposable nappies. Disposable nappies are unusual here - most babies just have a rag tied around their bottoms but some do have flat cloth nappies like Zane's blankies. Disposables are very rare! The children loved the attention and the gifts. We quickly learned not to let go of our cameras or phones as the kids will take anything they can get their hands on. One even unzipped my bag as it was on my back while I was sitting down!

After we left the orphanage we went to the Juvenile Detention Centre. Some of our group had already delivered the goat and other donations in the morning. When we arrived we were welcomed in by the boys and shown to a dining room. Some of the boys introduced themselves and all were extremely polite. In the end we were unable to stay for lunch, much to the relief of some of the girls who weren't keen on eating an animal they had seen alive, as the meal was going to take at least another four hours to cook. It was decided that we would go to Union Cafe for lunch instead.

After lunch we headed home. I was feeling exhausted by this stage and fell asleep for two hours. By the time I woke up it was almost time to get dinner started. We cooked out own dinner tonight so the Dadas could have the day off to be with their families.

We had a BBQ for Christmas dinner. Louis cooked chicken, sausages and pork on the BBQ and some of the girls had made potato bake, pasta salad and a garden salad to go with it. Leonie made trifle for dessert and Hanna made coffee cheesecake. Dinner was good and we had a great time together. After dinner Louis got out his fire twirling equipment and we all had a go. That was fun!

It is late now and I am about to go to sleep. I am going to sleep in tomorrow so I will give you guys a call later in the day. We get Boxing Day off so we do not have to go to placement tomorrow.

Love you and Merry Christmas <3

Monday, December 24, 2012

Day 9 - Pasua and Christmas Eve Dinner

Merry Christmas Eve!

Today started with breakfast and a hot shower (I am getting good at this!). 

We eventually headed off to Pasua; the taxi was late because Louis forgot to book it! The trip to work was a little more difficult than usual as the roads were very busy with people doing the last of their Christmas shopping - very similar but very different to home. It was a slow start at the clinic today. We thought it might be quiet considering it was Christmas Eve but we were wrong. It was actually busier than usual. We took some lollipops and small gifts to share amoungst the children while we were there today. The kids were really excited and I think the Mamas were just as excited! I got the impression that the nurse I was working with today didn't really want me to be there so I stayed as low key as possible while still trying to be helpful. I must say though that it is hard to stay low key when you are one of very few mzungu in the area...everyone notices you!

After work Aynsley, Sarita and I had lunch at Union Cafe and had a walk around town. The girls still had a couple of Christmas gifts to buy but I didn't get anything.

I had some spare time when we got home from shopping so I washed my laundry. There are no washing machines here so I had to wash them by hand. That is a lot harder than it sounds and I am worried that my clothes will be stiff and I will smell like Sunlight soap for the next week or so!

We all went out for dinner tonight as the three Finnish girls who are also staying at the TV house celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. We went to a restaurant about 200m down the road called International Steakhouse. We were all very excited about having steak for dinner but once we got there we realised they were serving a buffet rather than the al a carte menu we had requested. We were also the only people in the whole restaurant! Unfortunately the meal was nothing special and pretty much what we have served for free in the house but it cost us 20 000 shillings ($12 AUD) each. The service was also extremely bad. Despite that, we had a good night together and sang Christmas carols after dinner.

I am now waiting up for you boys to wake up so I can be on Google video chat when you open your presents. I also have my present from Dad here ready to open with you!

Love you all and Merry Christmas <3

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Day 8 - Kilimanjaro Coffee Tour and a Trip to Town


This morning the majority of the group headed off to do a one day climb on Mt. Kilimanjaro, so those of us who did not feel that our fitness level was up to the climb (Sandy, Taz, Tash, Jenny and I) went on the Kilimanjaro Coffee Tour.

We arrived at the coffee farm and were greated by Peter. We sat down and had a cup of coffee. Peter explained how there is a co-op involving three local villages and how the production and sales of the coffee helps the villages. So far, money earned by the group has been used to improve the main road up to the coffee farm and build schools. The project they are currently working on is to provide school lunch for the local children. The Union Cafe that we frequent is also accociated with this co-op.

After our coffee, which was very good, we were introduced to our tour guide, Josephus. We walked down a dirt road/track to a small house. When we got there Josephus explained how they grow the coffee plants and each stage from harvest to cup. We were then able to pick our own beans and put them through the machine that seperates the green bean from the outer berry. The green beans then need to be washed and dried for 24 hours. Due to lack of time Josephus provided us with some dried beans that we beat in a morta and pessel to remove the second skin then roasted in a clay pot over an open fire. When the beans were roasted we then pounded them into a powder using the morta and pessel. Josephus then boiled some water over the fire and brewed us a pot of coffee using the beans we had just roasted. The coffee was very, very strong and we didn't have milk so I couldn't drink it! After the coffee tour we returned to the starting point where we were served a traditional Chugga lunch. The Chugga are one of  the local tribes from this area and is the tribe that Lious comes from. The lunch was delicious. We started with a banana soup which sounds disgusting but it is really nice. It actually tasted like chicken soup. Then we had a meal of rice, beef in sauce, stewed bananas, green beans and mango. Again, the stewed bananas sounds disgusting but was really good. It tasted like and had the same texture as potato.

After returning from the tour we decided to head into town. We started at the Union Cafe where we each had a milkshake and shared four pieces of cake; passionfruit cheesecake, carrot cake, baked berry cheesecake and chocolate cake. The cakes were okay but they were much dryer than we are used to at home.

We then had a walk around town but a lot of the shops were closed because it was Sunday afternoon. I did buy a pair of pants for 20 000 shillings ($12.18 AUD) though. 20 000 shillings is on the higher end of the accepted price range for these pants but I really couldn't be bothered bartering to much this afternoon.

I am back to placement tomorrow but I have no idea what the plan is for the afternoon. I still haven't done any laundry so maybe that will be on the agenda but I am seriously considering paying one of the Dadas to do it.

Anyway, I am tired so I am going to bed early tonight and I will try to give you boys a call in the morning (12:30pm your time) if you are home by then otherwise I will have to catch you at another time.

Love you <3

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Day 7 - Fabric Markets and Henna Tattoos


This morning after a sleep in, breakfast and a hot shower (that is two in two days now!) some of us went off to Kiboriloni Fabric Market which is basicly a dirt street with shacks on either side that sell fabric in the suburb of Kiboriloni. I bought two lots of fabric. One lot cost 20 000 shillings ($12.18 AUD) which I intend to take to a dressmaker to have a pair of pants and a bag made. The other lot was smaller and cost 7 000 shillings ($4.26 AUD) and I also intend to have pants made from them. Daphne, I also picked up a blue and gold scarf for you at the market. It is beautiful and so soft!

After the markets we went and had lunch at the Union Cafe. Leonie had arranged to meet an American friend there who she had met last time she was here. I couldn't resist the Bacon and Avocado Pizza for lunch again and also had a Coffee Milkshake. The coffee milkshake was good but not as good as their cappacinos!

After lunch Taz, Tash and I went down the road to see the Henna lady. She is an Indian lady and her house is just off the main street. We went into her home and she was there with her two sisters. They were very friendly and accomodating. They are Muslim and talked to us about some of their traditions and beliefs while asking us about Australia. The people in Tanzania are very accepting of each others religions and live quite happily along side each other without any problem. As far as I can tell there are many Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Catholics. I got two black henna designs. One on my right hand and one on my left foot. They cost 8 000 shillings ($4.87 AUD) each and we were told that they should last about two weeks.

After that we had a look in a couple of art galleries and then headed home.

Tomorrow I am going on a Kilimanjaro Coffee Tour. The tour is on Mt Kilimanjaro so while I am not doing the climb I can at least say I have been on the mountain! Some of the girls are doing the one day climb tomorrow but I am no where near fit enough to do that! I think we head off at about 8am so I will get up early so I can phone you. Boys, I will call you at about 12:30pm your time and Steve, I will call you after I have talked to the boys.

After the coffee tour I will need to come home and wash some laundry. I have been so busy since I got here that I havent washed any of my clothes yet and I am about to run out of clean ones!

Love you all <3

Friday, December 21, 2012

Day 6 - Placement and Caught Napping on the Lounge

I had a hot shower today! Whoooooo!

I woke up at 5am this morning and recieved a call from you boys not long after. It sounds like you are having a great time with Nanny and being totally spoilt...lots of new clothes! I then spoke to Dad for a while. It sounds like he misses you guys but is getting lots of jobs done while you are away so you better make sure you don't mess up the house when you get home!

I then went for a lovely hot shower (first one since I left home last friday!), had breakfast and headed off to Pasua. We are still catching a taxi to and from placement.

We sat in on handover which was delivered in English however I still did not understand it! Tabitha, the director of nursing, explained that one of the patients had taken off during the night. Someone asked if the police had been notified but Tabitha said no, he is so sick he will be back.

Sandy and I went to the Womens/Childrens ward and help with the cleaning. We wiped down all the surfaces and unused beds with a bowl of cold soapy water and a rag. The rooms get very dusty but the surfaces are wiped down every day.  Then the local student nurses arrives and we divided up with our buddies. I went with the student nurse whose name I can't pronounce. We went to the Antenatal clinic and sat in on the assessments. Each time a Mama comes for their first appointment they are tested for the HIV virus. The test is a lot more simple than I had expected. The patient's finger is pricked and a blood sample is collected on a test strip. Two drops of liquid is then added to the blood and after three minutes either one or two lines come up. One line means negative and two lines means positive.

One Mama came in because she had not felt her baby move for two days. Both the Sisters (that is what they call the nurses here) tried for a long time to find the heartbeat with a fetoscope without luck. The Mama was then taken to the maternity ward where they tried to find the heart beat with a doppler but still without any luck. The Mama had to be transfered to a bigger hospital and was transported by ambulance however it is likely that her baby is still alive.

Another Mama came in who had previously tested positive to HIV however was denying that she had tested positive and was refusing to take the anti-retroviral medication which prevents the Mama from passing the virus to the mtoto (baby). She was also asking the sister to change the record to say she was not positive for HIV. The conversation got quite heated between the Mama and the Sister. The Sister was not happy with the situation and tried to talk the Mama into taking the medication for over an hour without success. The issue for the Mama is that if her husband finds out she has the HIV virus he will kick her out of the house and she will have no where to live. It is a very difficult situation for the Mama.  There was also a birth in the maternity ward today. Unfortunately I showed up a little late and only arrived in time to view the delivery of the placenta.

We returned home for lunch and after lunch I had a nap on the lounge  (I am noticing the effects of caffiene withdrawral!) as my room was too hot. Some of the girls thought this was a great opportunity to take a photo of me and post it on Facebook! Cheeky buggers!!!

Tomorrow is Saturday so we don't have to go to placement. We are going to sleep in a little and then head off to the fabric market and then have lunch at Union Cafe with a friend of Leonie's. After lunch a couple of us are going to get henna tattoos. I am going to get a foot tattoo.

Love you all <3

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day 5 - First Day of Placement and Shopping

Jambo (hello),
(You reply with sijambo)

I am starting to get used to the cold showers...just kidding. The mornings are a little cool so it is not fun! And to make it worse, my hair dryer carked it this morning :(. That was a sad moment because I hadn't even dried my hair yet! On a positive note, we had a full view of Mt. Kilimanjaro this morning! Most mornings you can only see some of it due to the cloud cover.

The four of us left for Pasua at 7:30am this morning. We are still travelling by taxi as we have not yet been taught how to use the daladala. We were left to our own devises in the hospital so Bellinda and I worked with the local AINs in the 'well baby clinic'. Babies are weighed every month from when they are born. I am not sure how long this goes on for but it is at least until they are three but maybe up to five years. The baby/toddler is weighed and you ask the Mama (mother) if the child has been well or sick. You record this information on the child's health record and write in the date that the next weighing is due. The children are also given Vitamin A and something else (we couldn't work out what is was) at certain ages at this clinic. One little girl who was about 3 was being weighed and as she spotted me a look of horror came across her face and she started screaming, then she looked at Bellinda and she started screaming more! We got up and left the area quickly as she was scared of us...she obviously has not seen many wazungu (white people) in her time!

We came home from the clinic and got changed and then Aynsley, Sarita and I headed into town to meet Jenny and Ally for lunch at the Union Cafe. Jenny and I went halves in a large Bacon and Avocado Pizza. It cost 8000 shillings ($4.80AUD) and was delicious. Jenny and Ally headed home after lunch and Aynsley, Sarita and I went shopping.  We went into a local art gallery where I bought a colourful necklace for myself for 2000 shillings ($1.20AUD) and a wrist band for each of you boys, again for 2000 shillings each. One has the colours of the Tanzanian flag, one says Kilimanjaro and one says pole pole (pronounced poley poley) which means slowly slowly. It is a saying that is used a lot around here as the locals don't like to rush. Everything is done in Tanzanian time, which means slowly. I am reserving the pole pole wrist band for Blake! Mum, I got you a painting of two elephants, a mother and a baby. It is a little old and worn looking (it has probably been hanging in the shop for a long time) but that just adds to the charm of it! I am pretty sure you will love it but it doesn't matter if you don't because it only cost 20 000 shillings ($12.10AUD) and I am happy to keep it ;o).

We caught a taxi back home and stopped at the Nakumatt (local supermarket we like to shop is like Coles and Kmart combined but in a smaller version) on the way. I bought a hair dryer for 43 100 shillings ($26AUD). There is no way I am living without a hair dryer for the next 4 weeks!

Have fun with Nanny boys and don't forget to call Dad and say good night every day. Also, try to keep google talk logged in and the ipad close by between 12pm and 9pm incase I get the chance to call you. Kaleb, is it possible to put google talk on the ipod because that would be easier.

Love you all <3

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Day 4 - Pasua Health Centre Orientation and a Trip to Town

Unfortunately, I have to report that today started with another cold shower :o(.

After my cold shower and breakfast Sandy, Chioma, Bellinda and I were take across to the other side of town to Pasua Health Centre. Pasua is a small hospital with a women/childrens ward, a mens ward, a maternity ward and an out patients clinic. We met with Tabitha (the director of nursing at Pasua) and she took us on a tour of the clinic. After the tour we met with some local student nurses who are also undertaking a placement at Pasua. They were second year nursing students just like us. We divided ourselves amoungst the local students and they took us on a more thorough tour of the hospital. One of my buddy nurses was named Nazmin. The other had a name that I couldn't pronounce for the life of me. The local students were very friendly and excited to show us around. My two buddy student nurses took me through each of the wards, reading the patients notes as we went while discussing the presenting symptoms, the diagnosis and what drugs had been prescribed and why. I was extremely impressed by the  knowledge and language skills these girls possessed. I have no doubt that their knowledge and enthusiasm for nursing could easily rival that of our Australian student nurses. We also visited the family planning clinic where women come to discuss contraseptive options with the doctor. They do this so they don't get pregnant with anymore babies before they are ready. Birth control is offered to the women free of charge by the United Nations Health Organisation. While at the family planning clinic I gave my first imjection since being here in Africa...I injected the patient using my usual dart-like motion however the needles are very blunt here so rather piecing straight through the skin it hit with quite a bit of resistance before going in. I also found that I needed to push a lot harder to get the needle the whole way in. Then to make it even worse, the syringe does not push in near as smoothly or easily as the ones at home. I think this experience was just as horrible for both me and the patient! On a brighter note my student buddies also took me to the well baby clinic where babies are weighed to ensure they are gaining weight and to visit the Mamas and babies in the maternity ward where I was able to hold the babies and have my photo taken. They were so tiny and cute!

After returning to the house we had lunch. It was not particularly nice so this is where the chocolate biscuits I bought the other day came in handy!

Most of us headed into town after lunch/chocolate biscuits. We went back to my favourite coffee shop - Union Cafe - and I had a chocolate milkshake for 4000 shillings ($2.40 AUD) and I also got 1kg of coffee beans for 15500 shillings ($9.25 AUD). Just like the coffee, the milkshake was very good! A lot of the girls went off to see a local
ady about getting their hair braided so that left Tash, Chioma, Bellinda and I to do our own thing in town. We wanted to find an ATM and visit a local artist but after getting ourselves lost and walking up and down the same street a couple of times we decided to give up. We sat down in front of the local police station and called our taxi to come pick is up. We had been sitting there foe a little while when we heard a commotion coming from down the road. We got up to have a
ook at what was happening only to see a large angry mob moving quickly towards us. Just at that moment our taxi pulled in to pick us up. We ran for the taxi and all scrambled in as quickly as possible. Nondo, the taxi driver, explained that the police had caught a theif and they were escorting him back to the police station. The theif and a male police officer were followed by a female police officer who was fending off the angry mob with a very long stick!

I am off to bed now as I need to be ready to leave here at 7:30am for my first full day of placement. We have not yet been taught how to use the daladalas so tomorrow we will travel by taxi.

I will not be home in time for Christmas boys but I am sure you will have a great time with Dad and Nanny and don't forget that Santa will be visiting so leave ouy some beer and treats. I love you and miss you heaps <3.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Day 3 - Town tour and language lesson


Unfortunately today did not start with the hot shower, or even a warm  one for that matter, that I had hoped for! Apparently, when there is 20 people living in one house you should not wait until last to have your shower. I plan to be quicker tomorrow!

Louis gave us a tour of the town this morning. He showed us how to get around and the best shop for certain items. The first shop was a specialty shop where you can buy western products. We were excited to discover that the alcohol was even cheaper at this shop than the previous supermarket we have been visiting! We also visited the bakery. I say 'the bakery' because it is the only bakery in town that bakes and sells fresh bread. We tried a few products there. My favourite was the love bone (interesting name hey?!) which was very similar to our shortbread. We also visited the post office and Louis showed us how to buy postcards and stamps to post. As we walked through some areas of town we were hassled buy the locals trying to sell us stuff. It can be quite annoying but wasn't as bad as it is in Bali. We went through the fresh produce market where they sell fresh fruit, vegetables and meat. Walking down the meat isle is quite an experience! It smelt really, really bad and there was a whole cow head sitting on a table along with all the guts. In Tanzania they eat the whole animal, nothing gets wasted. A couple of the girls were taking photos of the local ladies selling their produce in the market which didn't go down well. The ladies yelled 'no photos' and put their hand up to them. After the market we went to the Union Cafe. It is a new cafe and is well known amoungst Westeners. I bought a small cappuccino for 2500 shillings (which is about $1.50 AUD) and it was probably the best coffee I have ever bought from a cafe. I have decided I will be a regular there. My only problem is that I don't think they have soy milk...I will have to ask next time I am there.

After lunch we had another language lesson with Beatrice and then we were able to relax for the rest of the afternoon/evening.

I got some good photos today but I still haven't worked out how to upload them. I will try to workout how to do that over the next couple of days.

I was going to attempt to have a hot shower before bed but the power went out not long before I was going to have my shower. Unfortunately, you can't have a shower when the power goes out because the generator comes on to keep the lights going but it doesn't create enough power for the hot water system. I will have to try again tomorrow!

Tomorrow we have our workplace orientation. We will be taken to the clinic we will work in and meet the people who work there. We will also be shown how to get to and from the clinic in a daladala. I am half excited and half terrified about travelling to and from work in a daladala! Look it up on google images and you will see is like a tin of sardines!

Kaleb, can you make sure Nanny has google chat on her ipad. I am going to try and call you at around 7pm if I can. I may not be able to so don't worry if I don't, I will just try again tomorrow. Also, make sure you have the ipad on and close by with google chat logged in so you can hear me if I do call.

Love you <3

Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 2 - Orientation and Language Lessons

Habari/how's the news,

Today was a pretty easy day. Hanna (who owns and runs Tanzania Volunteers with her husband Louis) arrived after breakfast. She took us through orientation including how to use the hot water (it is not as easy as it is at home!), house rules and all that kind of stuff. After lunch Beatrice, the house keeper, gave us a Swahili lesson.

In the afternoon, a few of us took a taxi into town so we could get some cash from the ATM and visit the supermarket. I bought 3 snickers bars and a packet of chocolate cream biscuits for 9300 Tanzanian Shillings (about $5.50 AUD).

Tomorrow will consist of more orientation. They will show us around town and we will have another language lesson.

I took some photos of the house and the house's pet tortoise today. I will try to get them uploaded tomorrow.

Mimi ninakupenda/I love you <3

Day 1 - Materuni Waterfall

Good morning boys!

Well, yesterday started with another cold shower and no hair dryer...oh dear!

We had breakfast and then headed into town as someone needed to make a quick stop at the chemist. While we were there most of us waited in the bus. We noticed a young girl (probably about 8 - 10 years old) standing with her parents. She was favouring one of her arms and we could see that she had 2nd and 3rd degree burns on her hand and lower arm. The burn had probably happened in the past couple of days and was bad. It would have been hurting a lot but the young girl was very calm. I get the feeling that the people here have a higher pain threshold and are used to coping with difficult situations much better than me are.

We then headed off to the Materuni Water Fall. We had to trek down a narrow path to get to the waterfall. It was hilly and the veiw was amazing. The walk was hard (luckily I had taken my inhaler with me) but the waterfall was so beautiful it was worth it. We spent a few hours at the waterfall and had a picnic lunch. A couple of people went swimming but I only made it in to my knees. I would have loved to swim under the waterfall but the water was extremely cold and you know what I am like with swimming in cold water! We trekked back to the bus and stopped along the way to try some local beer at a shack/bar along the route. The beer is made from banana and millet and in my opinion tasted like vomit! When we got to the bus we were approached by an elderly lady. She could only speak Swahili but the tour guides were talking with her...they explained that she was telling us that she was Mary from the Bible. They were very amused and weren't buying her story!

We drove back through town to get home and stopped at a supermarket. The range of products and brand name groceries the have suprised me. Dad - They sell alcohol in the supermarkets and it is really cheap! Even cheaper than customs and I am told that each person can bring 2ltrs back into Australia.

After the supermarket we headed back home to relax for the afternoon. We had been back for about an hour when we realised at two of the girls were missing. Turns out we had left them back at the supermarket! Louis and Leonie went back to find them and found them drinking coffee at a cafe just waiting for us to realise they were missing as they had no way of contacting us. I think we will do a head count in future!

We had crispy fried fish, chips, rice and a cabbage and pineapple coleslaw for dinner. The food here is similar but very different to home. It is interesting but really good.

Today is Monday and we start orientation. I think todays lessons include house rules/routines and language lessons.

l will try to get some photos of the house for you today.

Love you <3

Sunday, December 16, 2012


continued because for some reason it won't let me add any more to the previous post...

Anyway, I ended up having a cold shower because I couldn't work out how to use the taps. I will be sure to ask about that before I go for my shower this morning! It is 6:20am here now and I can here everyone starting to stir. Most of us are heading out on a trip to a waterfall today.

I love and miss you guys and I hope you are being good for Dad!

P.s Remember you can email me anytime you want. I may not always see it staight away or be able to answer quickly but I will as soon as I can.

Love you all <3

I'm in Tanzania!

I have finally made it to Tanzania! It took 36 hours to get from our house to the Tanzania Volunteers house (TV house) in Moshi. The first flight from Brisbane to Dubai was the longest, it took 14 hours. We then had a 4-5 hour stop over in Dubai. The Dubai airport is huge and it was so busy! We then travelled from Dubai to Dar es Salaam on a 5 hour flight. We had a stop over of about three hours in Dar es Salaam but most of that time was spent waiting for our luggage, going through check in and lots of security checks. The flight from Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro was on a much smaller plane than the previous two planes. That made me a bit nervous but it was not a bad flight. I sat next to an Aussie guy on the flight. That was interesting because this is not a country that you expext to see many other Aussies. He is here for a few weeks to visit his Dad who works here. This flight only took an hour which didn't feel like long at all after the firsit two flights! We arrived in Kilimanjaro and were meet by Louis and two other guys. They loaded up the roof of the bus with our luggage although we had so much some of it needed to join us in the bus. We drove about 40 minutes to Moshi. It was dark so I couldn't see much bit I tried to take in as much as possible. We are staying in an area called Shanty Town. Despite it's name it is known as a 'well to do' area.

After finding our beds we had some dinner. Beatrice had cooked a savoury beef rice dish that was similar to fried rice and served it with fresh tomato salsa and fruit. It was good. We were all very tired by this stage so we had a shower and went to bed. Unfortunately, I had a cold shower because

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Where is Mum?

Brisbane to Dubai: Emirates Flight EK 435 - Departs 14 December 2012 @ 8:45pm (AEST +10) and arrives 15 December 2012 @ 5:20am (GST +4)

Dubai to Dar es Salaam: Emirates Flight EK 725 - Departs 15 December 2012 @ 10:15am (GST +4) and arrives 15 December 2012 @ 2:55pm (EAT +3)

Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro: Precision Air Flight PW 432 - Departs 15 December 2012 @ 6pm (EAT +3) and arrives 15 December 6:50pm (EAT +3)

Accomodation in Tanzania: Tanzania Volunteers (ph +255 752 569 386) 

Internship: Pasua Health Centre

Safari (29th December to 1st January): Pristine Trails (ph +255 272 754 463 Mobile: +255 717 100 788 or +255 767 100 788 or +255 715 678 393)

Kilimanjaro to Zanzibar: Precision Air Flight PW 421 - Departs 12 January 2013 @ 10:30am (EAT +3) and arrives 12 January 2013 @ 11:40am (EAT +3)

Zanzibar Accomodation: Sunset Bungalows (ph +255 777 413 818)

Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam: Precision Air Flight PW 421 - Departs 14 January 2013 @ 12:05pm (EAT +3) and arrives 14 January 2013 @ 12:35pm (EAT +3)

Dar es Salaam to Dubai: Emirates Flight EK 726 - Departs 14 January 2013 @ 4:45pm (EAT +3) and arrives 14 January 2013 @ 11:20pm (GST +4)

Dubai Accomodation: Metropolitan Palace Hotel Address: Al Maktoum Rd, Deira, Dubai (ph +971 4 205 1035

Dubai to Brisbane: Emirates Flight EK 432 - Departs 17 January 2013 @ 2:35am (GST +4) and arrives 18 January 2013 @ 12:50am (AEST +10) Don't forget to pick me up!

GST - Gulf Standard Time
EAT - Eastern Africa Time