Karibu! Follow my adventures this summer with Duke Engage and the EWH Summer Institute in Tanzania!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I can't believe that I'm already a week into August... these two months are flying by!

Today Benita and I are in Moshi and on the internet for the first time in what feels like forever.

We spent all of this past weekend in Moshi with our friends at KCMC. On Saturday, Benita and I had a day to ourselves in the city and we got to do some wandering and shopping. I'm definitely going to have to clear some room in my luggage for the trip home...
On Sunday, most of our group went to Machame to participate in the "Hash", which is a walk through cornfields and coffee farms in the area that ends with a meal for all participants. It was really fun, but because it ended in the evening, Benita and I ended up spending Sunday night in Moshi as well... which meant that on Monday morning we had to wake up bright and early to make the 1.5-hour-long trek to Marangu for work. When we got to the hospital, the administrator commented that we looked very tired and was shocked that we were going to spend the day working rather than resting at home.

Today, Benita and I went to work in the morning and left around noon to come to Moshi and take care of some errands. We have a good number of spare parts to purchase and are looking to recharge a battery... hopefully we can get it all done because our little workshop is feeling rather cluttered with broken stuff.

Since my last post, two other students have come to work at Marangu Hospital. They are medical students from Germany, and they live in a guest house next to mine. Last night we had dinner together, and they shared stories of some of the operations that they have observed...certainly not for the faint of heart. They said that most of the procedures are actually carried out in much the same way as in western hospitals, but huge differences arise when cleanliness and sedation are considered. The patients just walk into the operating theatre in their street clothes and lay on the table. And while they are sometimes given anaesthetic agents, the surgeon often doesn't wait long enough for it to take affect or the amount administered is too little to dull the pain of the operation. The room in which Benita and I work is just one room down from the operating theatre, so we often hear the pained screams and moans of patients. It can be very unpleasant.

I'm down to just over a week and a half left and I can't believe it. I honestly feel like I just got here. My internet time's running out, so I've gotta go for now but I'll update you all again if I can!

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