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January 10, 2016

Arusha

Hello! I have been reunited with my laptop and am currently writing this post from Madrid. These past six weeks have been pretty insane, but I'm going to start from the top - my time in Arusha, Tanzania, where I spent a month doing a hospital placement.

The city centre of Arusha is small, but bustling (crossing the road is terrifying). It does get a fair amount of tourist traffic as it's near the safari routes. I was living in a big house a little way out of the centre with a bunch of other healthcare students who were all working at the same hospital as me. I was pretty terrified at the beginning - I'd never stayed in any place this different from home for this amount of time, but I feel like I ended up semi-adapting (with a lot of help from new friends). I only managed to learn a minimal amount of Swahili, but I'm still finding some words and phrases slipping out now - hapana asante, sawa sawa, and mzungu (my favourite).


At the souvenirs market. I am severely hampered by my luggage space, but I did buy a small lion figurine. My friends went nuts though, they were haggling experts by the end of it.


I ate a lot of beans, rice, and cabbage over those four weeks.




Arusha lies in the shadow of Mount Meru, and you can see it from everywhere if the day is clear.


We would catch the dala dala (minibus) every day to get to the hospital, on which I was a continual source of amusement for the locals because I'd never fail to bump my head getting on and off.


Being at the hospital was, as you'd expect, very different to hospital back home. I did a week in surgery and two in O&G. I found it quite confronting at the beginning. I have the biggest respect for the doctors and nurses working there, who do so much for the patients with so little available.



After three weeks in Arusha town, we left for a small Maasai village in the Rift Valley, where we lived in a mud hut and worked in the clinic for a week. No reception, no electricity, no hot water, but as you can see, the scenery was nice.



We visited the market on one of the afternoons, and got stared at like crazy since mzungu visitors don't often pass through.


We also had to cross a river every day to get to the clinic.


It was an interesting experience, but I'm not going to lie - I was glad to get back to a hot shower and some pizza.

I also visited Zanzibar and went on safari in those four weeks, and I will try to take on the task of editing those photos in the next few days (might be slow going). And then after that will be the photos from the overland trip we took from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls, and then Egypt (! I can't wait to talk about Egypt), and then the photos I'm taking here in Spain. Thanks for putting up with the scheduled posts these last few weeks! I'm going to slowly start catching up on all your blogs again.

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