The First Month

I’ve officially been in Moshi for one month now (two to go)!! I cannot believe how fast time has gone!
Last week we started shadowing a surgeon at the hospital (Dr. Ruga), through his surgical and maternity rounds and consultations. Though less hands on than before it has been very interesting to see how the medical system works up close. For example, many people who come in with fractures are set up in beds with a roap and rocks to hold them in place…interesting. Today we went into surgery, but only for a bit since our time ran out. All I can say is the theater was straight out of a horror movie, windows open to the outside and not sterile at all…they couldn’t find stirrups for the man’s leg so Genny and a nurse had to physically hold his legs back, the smells made us both almost pass out. To put him “under” they just loaded him up with vallium. It was a tough day! Not sure what’s happening the rest of the week, but all day friday is in surgery, so we’ll see how that goes. We can’t understand how not every person there is dying from infection! The burn ward especially.

Zanzibar was incredible, white sands, perfect water. The first day we got there (leaving after work on thursday) we got into the hotel which ended up having a balcony facing the water over the beach. We went to dinner, and had probably the best fish dinner of my life-all the sea food there is incredible. We then went to the bar and met two german engineer students on holiday as well as a guy and a girl from Norway, the girl is a medical student and the guy is a marine biologist. Really nice people, we ended up spending the entire weekend with them, and learned about germanhip-hop (terrible) and american stereotypes. One of the guys asks “so wait, you’re american, but you aren’t yelling…all americans yell ALL the time like whoo-hooo!! at everything, I don’t get it.” That was pretty funny. They even assumed I didn’t know where Munich was (where the two germans were from)…Wow. But they were incredibly nice, and it was great to have another girl there. The second day we swam and stayed on the beach with them, as well as played beach volleyball with a couple of british and italian guys; the italians didn’t speak any english and we think they thought it was more of a compeptive game than it actually was. Got a little sun burnt, but not terribly.
We ended up going during the full moon, which means the hotels lining the beaches have incredible late night parties. Julien didn’t feel well, so after dinner he went to bed, but I decided to stay with the group and go over to the next hotel (all within a 2 minute beach walk) and go to their bar. It was crazyness, very entertaining though. I think I may have been the only American there! Which makes sense, given how far it is…
The next day we went to Stone Town and spent the day wandering around the really confusing alleyways, mostly looking at architecture. At night we went to the market where all the fish vendors set up tables where you walk up, choose what you want and have them cook it for you right there. Again, incredible. And all for about $10/person, and better than any fish I’ve ever had in the US. Will miss that for sure.
On the next day we took the ferry from hell, no lie. Everyone was sea sick, and hanging over the edges of the boat. I don’t normally get sea sick, but I was feeling it then, the waves were so high the jets actually came out ofthe water…terrible. But worth it to see Dar, which is super modern. We had brunch at a hotel, and they had real western food, which almost made the trip worth it, just for that! I miss food greatly, and am quite sick of the random semi-solid stews in moshi…All of us agree-we’re home-food-sick.

Other than that…we did the coffee hike the other day, very pretty. Our guide lived in the village where the coffee was made.It was interesting to talk to him about how many people in the village never leave their whole lives, but they are completly happy (non existant health care and education included). So you have to wonder about this push to modernize…how much good are we really doing? Its a tough topic obviously.

I feel like I’m supposed to be “changing” or something dramatic while here, but I don’t really feel that different. I have a different view point I suppose, but nothing dramatic…we’ll see as the weeks go on. Overall though I’m having an incredible time and am really looking forward to kili in 5 weeks! Time is slippingby though, and although I really want to see people from home, it does make me a bit sad to think of going home.

Lastly, after meeting the group from europe I had this strong feeling that I didn’t want to live in the US anymore, I felt like I needed to travel more, see the world. Even though I’m here it mostly makes me realize how little I know, how sheltered the US is, and how much I really want to expereince more of what the world has to offer….
on to week 5!
na penzi


2 thoughts on “The First Month

  1. >Amazing entry Jessica, what an experience! Pictures, I demand pictures!"Lastly, after meeting the group from europe I had this strong feeling that I didn't want to live in the US anymore, I felt like I needed to travel more, seethe world." Most people our age I know who travel abroad for more than a short vacation seem to end up feeling this way…

  2. >so grand!i can't imagine experiencing the hospital conditions, probably one area where westernization could be a good thingbeach ball with british boys? sounds like a blast! & the photos are fantastic!& i know what you mean about not wanting to live in the U.S. anymore, we'll live abroad together, that's all!can't wait for more, i love you. -cyn

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