Day 7 for the team

Jambo rafiki yangu (Hello my friends),

            My name is Ally and I am a junior nursing student at Northwestern College. We have already been in the beautiful country of Tanzania for saba (seven) days. Our Swahili is improving and I think we are all starting to feel more comfortable in the Tanzanian culture. Today Diane, Katie, Rachael, and I went on hospice visits while the rest of the team went to a few more shops in Arusha.

            The hospice team is from Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre and they focus on hospice and palliative care in the villages near Arusha. They focus on providing holistic care to the people around Arusha in a manner that proclaims the Gospel. Within the group, there was the coordinator of the hospice team, a doctor, a nurse, a social worker, and a few volunteers. They were all so friendly and were glad to show us what they do every day. We gave them some supplies that they requested and they were very thankful and said they could use all of it.

            Our first patient was a 39 year old woman with HIV. She was complaining of insomnia and heart palpitations. She has a husband who was tested negative for HIV and two daughters, only one of which was HIV positive. The daktari (doctor) took the woman's blood pressure and gave her a multivitamin. We also gave her rice, beans, fruit, and oil for cooking and she was very thankful. The people here are grateful for every little thing we do.

            The second patient was a little boy about 8 years old. He was HIV positive and had lost both of his parents due to HIV. He was being taken care of by his Aunt and she was a wonderful woman. She had three kids of her own, but agreed to take in our patient as well as his cousin because they had both lost their parents to HIV. She thanked God for bringing the children to her because she has been blessed ever since she took them in. She worked down the road hammering rocks into little pieces. She was so thankful for her job and for the food we brought her. We prayed for her at the end of the visit which I thought was really cool. The team always prays with the patients at the end of the visit.

            Our third patient was a 12 year old girl who lived in a room rented by a church. She was HIV positive and had already lost both her parents and grandma to HIV. Despite everything that was going on in her life, she was still smiling ear to ear and was enjoying going to school. Her cousin and aunt who were both 19 years old were taking care of her. It is hard to believe that two people my age are responsible for taking care of a little girl. She seemed healthy and did not have any complaints, which was very encouraging to see.

            The last patient was a 35 year old man who was a new patient to the hospice team. Most of the patients are visited every couple of weeks by the team. He was HIV positive, but his wife was HIV negative. She was very grateful we were there and thanked us for coming and bringing food. She said that she loved her husband and was not going to leave him because of his condition. They were both Christians and she said she made a commitment to him and was going to keep that commitment. The husband was very worried about his children and wondered what would happen to them if he were to die today. It is hard to see these people and know that there isn't a lot we can do for them. I understood how this man must have felt because he might not be able to be there for his young children. My heart breaks for these people and this horrible disease that is taking away their loved ones.

            We are now packing up and getting ready to go to Tudor Village in Moshi to work with Mama Lynn's orphanage. I am so excited to see what God has in store for us there. I have already seen Him work through my team members here, and I know He will continue to work through our team. There is no doubt that He has been guiding us throughout this trip so far. We will keep sending updates when we can, but we don't know when that will be since the Wifi is not the greatest in Tudor Village.


Mungu akubariki sana na kwaheri (God bless you and goodbye),

Ally Fabrie










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