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.
I’ve realized I haven’t really explained what we do at placement…
It varies day to day based on whats needed or where we end up.
We often start our mornings in the pharmacy helping sort pills, then distribute them to patients. This is where we feel most useful actually, since they can’t give out medication until it has been sorted and there are only two women currently working there, so people may end up waiting hours to get their medication.
This Saturday we were invited to go to a local wedding reception, by a local friend who knew the groom. The wedding itself started around 9am, but the reception dinner around food wasn’t served until 10pm, and dancing continued far past when we left. Aside from a few gift giving ceremonies it was very close to a US wedding, and apparently very small at only around 100 people at the reception (more may have been at the service). It was of course all in swahili, but still very interesting to watch.
This week was fairly uneventful, which was actually really nice. The new group is here, and they are generally older (late 20s-71!), though one 19 year old on gap year. They are very serious and everything is a big to-do, not laid back at all. They’re all on safari right now so its only 4 of us at the house, which is actually quite nice. We went for Indian food last night at a restaurant called “el rancho,” which is obviously, not Indian, but the food was really good! Its incredible how cheap things are here. We went for drinks at the Kindoroko hotel, took a taxi to dinner, had dinner, then another taxi to glacier (a bar), and another taxi home, ends up being about $20-25 per person, for the entire night. We’ve made friends with one of the taxi drivers who we’ll call whenever we need rides, we call it our african dial 6, and the most expensive a ride can be is 5000 tsh (or about $4). Today we are supposed to go to a wedding, which is really exciting! One of our friends (local) is going and invited us along.