Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Serving as a Health Care Volunteer In Tanzania - May 22

“Peace is not something you wish for, it is something you make, something you are, something you do and something you give away.” –Robert Fulgham

Our first full day of work in Pommern was mostly observation. Early this morning in the chilly cold we went to the secondary school to assist Regina, the matron. Since I didn’t know what a matron was, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It turns out she’s like a school nurse, doctor and mother to the students all rolled into one. It’s amazing to see how she listens to the students, diagnoses their condition and dispenses treatment all within a matter of minutes. Then after breakfast we went to the “dispensary” or clinic to work with Elton. A dentist by training, Elton is truly a master of all trades at the clinic, diagnosing and treating all sorts of conditions from hypertension to intestinal worms. Of course he also does dental work. We witnessed a tooth extraction that made me truly grateful for my toothbrush and endless supply of toothpaste. After lunch we prepared a quick lesson on tooth brushing for the primary school. Even with Mohamed’s great lesson in Kiswahili, Edward had to do the teaching since the students speak no English. After the lesson on how to brush teeth we were able to give out a toothbrush and small tube of toothpaste to each child… almost. We ran out of toothbrushes with about 16 kids remaining. But not to worry, we were able to buy some brushes from a local shop so every child in the class got one. Since school had a half-day today, we had most of the afternoon off. I got a very refreshing nap and so I’m ready for a full day of work tomorrow.