January 10

Wednesday, January 10th

Hey guys! It’s Mikayla, and today I will be giving you a little insight on our experiences today! This is our last day in Arusha before we head out on the 3-day safari with our dear friend, Julius. We are beyond excited to get to take a little break from the O.R. and get a closer look at Tanzanian culture.

Today, we were split into two groups again. Devin, Hailey, Jake and I joined the hospice/palliative care team to visit a few more clients. Before we got to the first house, we began discussing the case Rachael wrote about last night with the little girl whose mother could not afford her uniform to go to school. We were curious, so we asked the nurses how much it would cost to pay for the uniform. We were informed that was the only thing the girl needed to get into primary school and costed 50,000 TZ schillings (less than $25 USD). All four of us looked around at each other and I could see in their eyes we were all thinking the same thing- can we pay for this? They told us we could and may even be able to get it to her tomorrow! I was overcome with a sense of joy and happiness that we could provide something that meant so much to this little girl for such a low cost. It was simply fantastic!

Unfortunately, the first client we went to visit had left to get some food, as she had slept the whole day yesterday and had not eaten. We were devastated by this news, as we had brought food for her. Luckily, our volunteer said she would keep the food and run it over to her house later this week. The second client we saw was HIV+ and has TB (tuberculosis). He had began feeling a lot better the past few weeks, and was even able to travel to his home village to see his family for the holidays. We were ecstatic to hear this! The last lady we saw lived in a dark room at the back of an alley. Her daughter had just been diagnosed HIV+ as well. She was struggling as she had lost her job due to her sickness. She was also very worried about being stigmatized by her surrounding neighbors. It was so sad to see the distress on her face. We prayed at each house for God to continue improving their health.

Ryan, Rachael, Derek, Crystal, Gayle, Dr. Mark and Dr. K all returned to the hospital to begin the procedures we had scheduled the last two days in clinic. Dr. Mark was pleasantly surprised with how smoothly the day went, while Dr. K became flustered by the complications he ran into. However, Dr. K was able to learn a great sum of new ways to administer anesthesia that he had never known before. Crystal noticed that the pace of the surgeries here were a lot slower, but this is allowing us all to learn a great deal of patience. She was also happy to know that they got to see a lot of patients that wouldn’t have been seen otherwise.

Today, the students had the ability to scrub in on some orthopedic surgeries. Ryan was happy that they helped so many people that couldn’t afford the care they received. Hope Ministries has blessed these people more than any words in a blog can describe! Rachael was excited to experience her first ever O.R. visit. Derek made a girly-friend on the operating table today. She kept asking for him to scrub in to her surgery and other procedures. Other than that, he was also excited to sit in on his first surgery and see things up close. He was surprised by the number of tools they would pull out that looked very similar to tools you would find around the house. In addition to those tools, they used a lot of materials brought over by Hope Ministries from the US. Without all this equipment, a majority of the surgeries performed would not be feasible. All three students obtained a lot of knew information- including what careers they do and do not want to pursue. Much of this information would be a lot harder to see first-hand in the States.
After a week of putting in hard work, we are ready to head out on our safari. It will be our time to act as “tourists” and take a little break before getting back to work in Mwanza. We ask for your continued prayers as we head out on this adventure. We also ask that you pray for our teammates that are staying back in Arusha to continue surgeries (Gayle and Dr. Mark). Please bring them the strength and wisdom to continue changing the lives of many Tanzanians. Stay tuned for stories on our safari adventure! Thank you, and God Bless.