Sunday, January 22, 2017

Tanzania, Can't Wait to Meet 'Cha!

It looks like it's been quite a well since I posted anything here. I don't really have a good excuse other than, you know... life. It's been more of a 'processing things in my head rather than writing things down' kind of year.

BUT, that will change shortly, because...

I'm going to Tanzania for 7 weeks!

I mean, I couldn't really finish up med school without at least one more big adventure under my belt. You all know how I am...

I'm leaving at the end of this week and will return mid-end of March, right after Match Day actually (ahhhhhh).  I'll first be spending 5 weeks on a pediatric rotation in Arusha; which will include working at both the main hospital and rural clinics in the mornings and the Child Growth and Development Centre in the afternoons. I'm particularly excited about this since the CGD focuses on HIV prevention through education, while also working to address the many orphans that HIV has created in the community. The organization partners with groups of Maasai women who have taken children without families into their care. My work there will include the preparation of educational materials that will help to provide the women’s groups with additional skills through training, monitoring the children and charting their health, and assisting with outreach efforts that will help to raise the visibility and profile of CGD as an organization.

Once the program is complete, I plan on sticking around for another 2 weeks to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro (or at least try... but it's right there guys... how could I not?!) and then spend the duration of Match Week in Zanzibar trying not to panic. And hopefully a Serengeti safari will happen at some point while I'm there too.

And to make things REALLY interesting... I'm going to be by myself. I have never had a problem traveling on my own (it's always scary, but enjoyable at the same time). But I will essentially be living and working on my own with all local docs while I'm there; no other students or international volunteers will be with me. This should hopefully mean that I will able to really be immersed in the experience and the local community but it will be incredibly challenging all the same.

No matter what, I'm really looking forward to this new adventure and am so grateful for another global health opportunity since it's something that I feel so passionately about and plan on making a part of my career for a long time. I also can't wait to see how I can apply what I learn to experiences back in the US medical world.

Since I plan on posting lots of pictures and updates on here throughout my time there, feel free to follow along!