This week will be the last we’re staying (and working) with CCS. On Sunday we start our climb on Kili, then back for a day before heading to Dar and then Egypt.
Last week at work was more laid back, ended up giving tours to a few medical and nursing students from Sweden and Germany that we met at the coffee shop (where we spend every morning, and many afternoons). But generally, more of the same. This week we’ll be saying goodbye to everyone we work with, we’ve become close to the women at the pharmacy and one of the doctors (ironically, not the doctor we were supposed to be spending time with). People keep asking what we got out of working there, and in return what the hospital has gained. We’ve found it difficult to answer. In terms of short term we have been able to help out a great deal, but in terms of long term sustainable aide, we’ve been essentially useless. But, whatever we can offer them is at least…something. What have I gotten out of it? Aside from knowing that clinically, I am not inclined, it has been extremely interesting to view such a drastically different form of medical care. Disturbing and upsetting at times, but overall interesting. Through the chaos how much they could accomplish was actually better than expected. However, for conditions to improve large governmental changes must happen, which as in most of Africa, slow coming. More on this topic later, I’m sure.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with CCS and I feel that it is a good program to start out international travel if you have never been. But the more time I spend here and the more people I meet the more I realize that really, it is unnecessary to stay with an organization. Most people just show up and find work and/or places to work (in Africa, India, or wherever else). Maybe it’s just Africa, but the staff at CCS, though they care very much for us, are very slow at getting things done if they ever do. Complications have arose with a few of us and placement end dates, one of the girls is going to be losing money because the program director at the house messed up some forms and there doesn’t seem to be much they can do about it. At the hospital we’ve tried to explain that while following Dr. Ruga around is very interesting it is in no way helpfull (more of an internship than volunteering) and yet they don’t really listen to what we have to say. Basically, we’re all a littl frustrated with them. Overall this has been an incredible experience, its just about time for us to finish up and head on to the next thing, I cannot imagine staying and working at the hospital for another 6 weeks when there is so much more to experience and see throughout Tanzania and Africa in general. There may be an oppertunity to go with others to either Egypt or Mozambique, either would be incredible.
This weekend we met some people living here from Australia, one couple (John and Tiffany)has been traveling since 2006 and aren’t returning home until 2012. They just travel to various places to work and see the country, they are headed to Egypt, then up to Italy and Greece before heading over to South America. I wish I could do that! We’ve met so many people who are taking years to see the world and I want very much to be able to have that kind of experience, and maybe I will. The only problem of course is having so much school ahead of me, I feel like I have to get going on real life. Yet I also feel like I’m so young, and have so much time! I am of course tempted to just stay here, travel, find work, but I can’t do it alone, that much is for sure. So I’ll be heading home in November. Though quite excited to see everyone, I feel as if I have so much more to experience that three months just can’t allow. The other guy we met, is a UN rep who has been living here for a year, and has another 5 to go. He’s been driving us around in his car (which is a really great change from the taxis and daladalas) and introducing us to his favorite parts of town, plus his house has a pool! Things like this are very exciting.